Burglar targets elderly Gosport couple twice in months

TWO-TIME VICTIMS Husband and wife Diane and John Woods, both 82, of Ann's Hill, Gosport
TWO-TIME VICTIMS Husband and wife Diane and John Woods, both 82, of Ann's Hill, Gosport
Cheltenham Road. Picture: Google Maps

Man, 27, arrested after house burglary investigation

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A DARING thief stole hundreds of pounds and jewellery from an elderly couple in a distraction burglary – only to come back and steal treasured family heirlooms just weeks later.

Diane Woods and her husband John, both 82, of Gosport, have been left feeling vulnerable after the man talked his way into their home and stole Diane’s wedding ring, £300 in cash and three collections of cards.

The man first called at the house asking if the pair had anything to sell – Mrs Woods said no but he talked his way in and started searching the living room.

Mrs Woods said: ‘I like talking to people because John doesn’t talk much.

‘I was on the doorstep talking about him for quite a long time and gradually it became a little more personal.

‘I followed him but I was frightened to say too much because he could have turned. I didn’t want him to beat me up.

‘I don’t know how he got in, I really don’t know.

‘He was looking around and looking in the china cabinet, he didn’t seem to be interested in it.

‘He went into the kitchen and I followed him, then he went into my bedroom and I stood in front of the dressing table.’

But Mrs Woods’ dog barked so she went to calm the animal. When she returned she saw the man closing the dressing table drawer.

She added: ‘When he’d gone, my rings had gone too.’

The elderly couple were targeted again weeks later when Mrs Woods was out, leaving Mr Woods, who suffers with a bad memory and osteoporosis, to deal with the man alone.

Mr Woods did not know the man had hit the home before.

The former sailor said: ‘He said: “Oh, what’s that cat doing in the bottom of the garden?” I looked out and there was nothing down there.

‘If you’re honest you just think everybody else is.’

But it was only after the man left that the pair spotted their treasured collections of cigarette cards, ships and postcards dating back from the 1900s were missing.

Mrs Woods added: ‘I can’t think why he would pick on us, whether we’re just two elderly people who didn’t know.

‘We’ve never had anything like this before. I feel quite angry that I’ve been so stupid about him.’

The first theft happened on August 20, and the man had dark hair and was his in his twenties.

Anyone with information should call Fareham police on 101 or use Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.