Bogus caller steals hundreds of pounds from Purbrook cancer patient

DEVASTATED Cancer patient Eric Humphrey, 75, was conned in his home.  Picture: Malcolm Wells (120312-7647)
DEVASTATED Cancer patient Eric Humphrey, 75, was conned in his home. Picture: Malcolm Wells (120312-7647)
Louis Makai. Picture: Sussex Police

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A CANCER patient has told of his devastation after a burglar conned him out of hundreds of pounds.

Eric Humphrey had just returned to his London Road home in Purbrook from a hospital visit and was having a lie down when the thief struck.

He and friend Sylvia Kennedy, 63, were expecting a workman to visit that day to fix Mr Humphrey’s bed, and so let the man in.

Once inside the man went into the lounge and said he was owed money by the landlord of the property for work that had been done to the roof.

He initially asked for £25. But when the man saw Mr Humphrey had more cash in the house he took that too and helped himself to £645 that 75-year-old Mr Humphrey had saved to pay bills.

Then the man said he would go to get a receipt and left with the wad of cash.

But when Mr Humphrey checked where he had gone he saw the man fleeing towards Ladybridge Road.

Mr Humphrey said: ‘We were expecting someone out to fix my bed because it’s not working properly at the moment.

‘When this man came we thought it was him.

‘He took £645 – I kept that money for paying bills.

‘Then he said he would go and get me a receipt.

‘But when I looked out of the window he was running down the road and I thought “I’ve been conned”.

‘I’m annoyed about the money because it is a lot of money for anybody.

‘But I’m more annoyed because I don’t usually get conned.

‘He’s got no morals.’

Detective Constable Emma Halliday is investigating the distraction burglary, which happened between 3pm and 4pm on Wednesday.

She is appealing for anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

Det Con Halliday said: ‘The offender has targeted a vulnerable man and taken a large sum of money, this type of crime is particularly atrocious.

‘The incident occurred during daylight hours on a busy route between Cosham and Waterlooville.

‘I would appeal to anyone who may have seen this man to come forward with as much information as possible.’

The suspect is described as white, aged in his mid 40s, 5ft 5in tall and of a medium build, clean shaven with dark hair that is bald on top.

He wore a blue top and trousers.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det Con Halliday at Waterlooville CID on 101 quoting crime reference number 44120035862.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.