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Local News

‘Shameless’ South Yorkshire burglar preyed on elderly woman with dementia and stole their valuables


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A cruel burglar pretended to be a carer so that he could steal from a woman with dementia, who could not even remember if she had been burgled.

Andrew Deeley, 56, was jailed for eight years last week, for a spate of distraction burglaries in South Yorkshire where he targetted elderly and vulnerable people.

Deeley, of no fixed address, often pretended to be a workman so that he could gain access to the homes of elderly and vulnerable people across Sheffield and Barnsley, even targetting an old lady with dementia.

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The lady could not even remember whether or not she had been burgled, but conversations between officers from South Yorkshire Police and the lady’s son established that Deeley had pretended to be her carer.

On another occasion, the prolific burglar told another elderly lady that he was at her home to “stop ants” and helped her ‘gather’ up her belongings before fleeing the scene with them.

Enquiries carried out by officers and burglary detectives led to Deeley being identified as the suspect for 15 burglaries in total, which took place between March and June this year.

Investigating Officer Ellie Davies said: “Deeley was a shameless thief and prolific burglar, who preyed on the elderly and vulnerable in communities right across the city.

“When victims spoke to him, Deeley would claim he was there to fix windows, radiators or do building work at the request of the local authority or a family member.

“By making these claims, he was able to sneak in through open back doors, or even follow carers into addresses unchallenged.

“He took thousands of pounds in cash, stealing purses, wallets and other valuables.

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“On one occasion, he told an elderly woman he had come to spray her property to stop ants, helping her ‘gather’ up her belongings and valuables, before putting them into a bag and fleeing the address.”

Deeley’s DNA was found at several addresses and CCTV footage also helped to pinpoint him as the burglar, after his crime spree came to an end on June 8 this year.

Police had been called to the scene of a burglary in the Broadway area and Deeley was found boarding a bus, carrying more than £1,000 in cash that he had just stolen.

Deeley pleaded guilty to eight burglary offences on August 24 and was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court last week (September 9).

IO Davies added: “We are really pleased with the sentence that Deeley has received, hopefully it demonstrates how committed we are to bringing criminals like him to justice.

“The impact of burglary, especially on the elderly, is huge and it can be life-changing, not only for the victims but in these cases their families and neighbours.”

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Written by: Rother Radio News

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