A “heartless” burglar was caught red-handed stealing from a 92-year-old neighbour thanks to CCTV cameras installed by the victim’s son.
Roy Porter and his partner Cherril decided to take action when they suspected money had been taken from Roy’s mum, Hazel Bywater.
The pair captured the burglar, Gillian Carlton King, 57, on hidden cameras, rifling through Hazel’s belongings in her Matson Court flat and stealing a box containing £185 from her kitchen. “She was directly in the camera line, but she knew exactly where she was going,” said Roy, who installed two motion-sensitive cameras in the flat two weeks before capturing Carlton-King in the act.
The footage was shown to Bridlington police and Carlton King, also a Matson Court resident and acquaintance of Hazel, was charged with burglary. The former carer was sentenced to a nine-month prison sentence on Monday 20 January at Hull Crown Court.
Roy said when he heard the judge’s verdict he was “highly delighted” and described Carlton King as “calculated” and “heartless”.
He explained how Carlton King would occasionally run errands for his mother and other residents at Matson Court.
There had been a spate of thefts at the sheltered housing but it was when Hazel’s £80 pension went missing that Roy and Cherril were moved to act.
Cherril said: “We had to catch the thief.
“Stealing is bad enough, but stealing from vulnerable people and the fact that she gained her trust it is a horrible thing to do.”
Roy explained that he now visits his mother, who is deaf, up to twice a day due to the stress she suffered during the ordeal.
The locks were changed on Hazel’s flat the day after the theft was filmed, however she is now taking anti-depressants due to the stress.
Cherril said: “It is not the amount of money it is the anxiety that goes with it. She is not 100% confident, she is a nervous person.
“We are a caring family and we do look after her and we do everything we can to make her comfortable and safe. But what about the other people that have no support, no family - how are they suffering?
“I’m just pleased that we were there and she has got a family that care about her and were able to catch the thief.”
Detective Inspector Joanne Roe, of the Serious Acquisitive Crime Team, said: “This offender’s actions have been despicable. She has preyed on residents at this sheltered accommodation, targeting the elderly and vulnerable. Her actions were cold and calculated towards the residents who have found the whole incident very distressing.
“I praise the family for their quick actions in having CCTV fitted to their mother’s room, this has caught the offender in the act.”