A SHAMEFUL thief who posed as a carer to steal from a bed-bound 91-year-old woman has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Belinda Evans banged on the door and shouted through the letterbox, pretending she was there to look after the vulnerable victim.
Once given the key code, she took £70 in cash, medication and a gold watch which had belonged to the elderly resident’s late husband.
Investigating officer Det Con Sam Carr said: “This crime saw a cold, calculated, heartless thief prey on an extremely vulnerable member of the community using absolutely shameful tactics.”
Evans (41, right) was identified from CCTV at the East Dene apartment block. Police found the green jacket she was seen wearing — and the victim’s medication — at her Westgate flat.
She had approached the victim’s address at 4.30am and convinced her to give her the security code.
The victim soon realised it was a couple of hours early for her first home care visit of the day and asked the intruder to leave.
But Evans tried to continue the deception — saying other carers were downstairs and offering to make a cup of tea.
Det Con Carr said: “Evans had obviously got prior knowledge of the building layout, potentially who was there, and this woman was targeted. There were no reports of Evans trying to get in any other flats.
“She went through her wardrobes in the bedroom, and even made a comment about what nice clothes the woman had.”
The victim phoned her son-in-law for help while the intruder — still going through her possessions — grabbed bleach to clean up after herself.
Evans was arrested after being identified on CCTV. Det Con Mark Szabo found prescription pain relief pads belonging to the victim at Evans’ flat.
“The place looked like an incendiary bomb had gone off,” said Det Con Carr. “There were pizza boxes, clothes, drug paraphernalia everywhere.
“But somehow Mark found the medication, which we hadn’t even known was missing but still had the victim’s name on. What a find that was. It meant we didn’t need a second interview and could go straight to the CPS. Our inquiry moved at pace and was a real team effort.”
Evans admitted the April 15 burglary and was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday.
“I welcome the sentence,” said Det Con Carr. “How can an individual prey on such a vulnerable person in our society? I have never been able to work out folk like that. It’s very hard to grasp.
“I hope our swift investigation offers reassurance to the public that these crimes are investigated and we will put perpetrators before the courts.
“On this occasion, the victim quickly noticed something wasn’t right and alerted family members.
“This isn’t always the case. If you have elderly or vulnerable relatives, please check in with them and remind them to be vigilant in who they let in to their home and to report anyone suspicious to police.”