Armed robbery - Hadleigh
Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman was subjected to an armed robbery at her home in Hadleigh.
The incident occurred between 7pm and 7.20pm yesterday evening, Saturday 10 February, at an address in Ramsey Road.
The victim – aged in her 60s – received a call at the front door, but before opening the door attempted to look out of the window to see who it was, but it was too dark. She then called out asking who was there and received a reply from what sounded like a female voice saying ‘Jackie’.
The victim opened the door to discover a boy outside, who she believed to be 13 or 14 years old. While she was talking to him and asking what he wanted, two other males then appeared, initially claiming to be police officers, before pushing the victim back through the door and forcing their way into the house.
One of these males was holding what appeared to be a pistol in one hand and a screwdriver in the other. They then demanded money and began searching the house, whilst the teenage boy acted as a lookout.
All three left the house about 15-20 minutes after they arrived, stealing an amount of jewellery. They made further threats to the victim as they went, telling her not to leave the house.
She raised the alarm about 10 minutes later once she felt certain they were gone. Police were at the scene within minutes and searched the area but the offenders were not located. The victim was left shaken by this incident, but was not harmed other than being initially pushed in the doorway.
The suspects are described as follows:
· Suspect one; white, aged 13-14 years-old, around 5ft 2in tall, and of skinny build. He was wearing a baseball cap, a hooded top with the hood up, a grey jacket and gloves. Spoke with a British accent.
· Suspect two: white, aged 18-21 years-old, between 5ft 9in and 6ft tall, and of large build. Wearing a baseball cap, a mask across the lower part of his face, black trousers and gloves. He was carrying a handgun and a screwdriver. He spoke in English and also in a foreign language.
· Suspect three: Had his face covered with just his eyes showing, believed to be between 20-27 years-old, 5ft 3in to 5ft 5in tall, of skinny build and with black hair. Wearing a mask, black trousers, black jacket and black trousers. He spoke only in a foreign language.
Detective Inspector Steve Corbett said: "This was a terrifying ordeal for the victim and although she took reasonable measures before answering the door, I want to take the opportunity to remind people to ‘Lock, Stop, Chain, Check’, before answering the door to unexpected callers, especially at night time.
"Use a door chain if you have one, or do not open the door at all if you are unsure who the caller is. A police officer, or any official from a public authority or utility company, will always present themselves properly and show identification. These types of incident are rare in Suffolk, but it is important to remain vigilant.
"I am appealing to any witnesses who saw any suspicious persons or vehicles in the vicinity of Ramsey Road, either prior to the incident or immediately after it, to contact us without delay.”
Detectives are also appealing for anyone in the area with CCTV outside their property, or who may have been driving through at the time of the incident and has a dash cam in their vehicle, to make contact.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact South CID at Landmark House on 101 quoting reference 7951/18, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Police would like to offer the following advice to residents:
• Always keep your house secure, even when you are at home.
• Keep doors locked and windows shut, especially if you are not in the room.
• Make sure your back garden is secure too by keeping the back gate locked.
• If someone knocks at the door, stop and think if you are expecting a visitor. If not, do not feel under any obligation to answer the door, even if the caller has seen you.
• Always put the chain on the door before you answer it, even if you are expecting a caller. It gives you more control over the conversation and also makes it much harder for someone to force their way in. It is fine to say something like ‘Thank you for letting me know. I will contact my builder right away’ and then shut and lock the door.
• Always ask for a photo identification card and take your time to check it, even if you are expecting the caller.
• Make sure the photograph looks like the person at the door.
• Take your time to call the company using a phone number you already have. A genuine caller won’t mind waiting.
• You can always ask them to come back at an arranged time when you can have a friend or relative with you.
• Never buy or sell anything at your door.
NOT SURE? DON’T OPEN THE DOOR!
• Remember, if you are not sure about the caller, do not open the door and do call police on 101 (or 999 in an emergency) if you are concerned for your safety.
• If you think the caller is suspicious and may target someone else vulnerable in the neighbourhood, please call police immediately on 999 and give as much detail as you can about the person, the clothing they were wearing, details of any vehicle etc.