Burglar targets 96-year-old at home on her own

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AN ELDERLY woman who was burgled in a matter of minutes has said she no longer feels safe at home.

Mabel Higgins, 96, of Wilmott Close, Gosport, had left her front door open to take her Jack Russell, Fern, to her back garden, when the burglar struck and took her purse, house key and money.

Mrs Higgins, a widow, was about to call a taxi to go into Gosport town centre to do her Christmas shopping after gathering the items ready to take with her on Thursday, December 13 between 11.30am and 11.45am.

‘I feel truly ill to think that he did this in my home,’ she said.

‘I’ve been rather quite good about it but when you realise how it happened he must have been fleet-footed, to be so quick as that, when I took the dog into the garden.

‘If I’d stood here and given it to him I couldn’t have done it better.

‘But you feel that the worst thing of all is that he’s been in my home – it’s a terrible feeling.’

Mrs Higgins returned from her back garden to go into her home when she caught a glimpse of a man wearing grey clothing as he left the path to her home.

She said she has been left feeling uncomfortable in her home, which she has lived in since 1952.

‘It’s always been a very amiable place, you felt safe – I don’t now,’ she said.

‘This is the first time I’ve felt afraid. I’m a very strong person, nothing perturbs me normally.’

And Mrs Higgins, who has relatives in Portchester, now keeps her house key close to her, afraid that it may happen again.

Apart from walking her dog each day in a nearby park, Mrs Higgins now stays at home, when before she would often go out into Gosport town centre.

She said Fern was helping her recover from the shock of the incident.

She said: ‘I’ve kept in a bit and that happens – I thought I was doing very well. I look after myself and do my own shopping.

‘I shall get over it, I will get over it – since it’s happened I’ve sort of walked through everything and not felt taken over about it.’

Anyone with information about the burglary should call PC Jo Mansell at Gosport police station on 101.

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.