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Gran, 74, wakes to find burglar in her room
A TERRIFIED woman has described the moment a burglar broke into her sheltered housing flat, shone a torch in her face and stole irreplaceable items belonging to her late husband.
Joan Black, 74, had only been in bed for a few minutes when she was startled by a noise. She turned over and was met with a bright light being shone in her face at 3.45am, yesterday.
She screamed and the intruder escaped through the ground floor window of the flat in Shoebury .
Joan said: “My granddaughter had left her old-fashioned metal pram at the end of my bed and that was what he walked into.
“I let out the biggest scream. I was terrified and just couldn’t believe what was happening.
“I have asthma and couldn’t breathe very well. The man ran off and I pulled my emergency cord and ran out of the flat to alert my neighbour.”
Joan was devastated to find sentimental items had been taken. Fighting back tears she added: “The thief took the only things I had left from my late husband Derek – a pair of cufflinks and a tie pin. They are irreplaceable and I would appeal to anyone to please come forward if they know anything.”
The tie pin was gold and the gold cufflinks had a ‘D’ engraved on them and a lined pattern.
About £200 in cash, a purse and a credit card was also taken.
Joan’s daughter Natasha Black, 39, who also lives in Shoebury, said: “It’s just disgusting someone can break into a sheltered housing block and steal from the elderly. This person is the lowest of the low and has to be caught.
“I have been searching the streets for the cuff links and pin with my children, but we found nothing. “Those items mean the world to my mum.”
Joan said this was the second break-in at the sheltered housing complex in three months. She says she had been asking for sensor lights to be installed in the garden.
She added: “I have lived here for five years and we are supposed to feel safe here – it is sheltered housing after all.”
Joan’s friend Maureen Field, 70, who she called on just after the burglary, called the police and ambulance.
Nobody from South Essex Homes, which manages the home, was available for comment yesterday.