Officers investigating a pair of linked burglaries in Derby are appealing for the public’s help.
The first incident took place in Meadow Way, Chellaston, at around 7.15pm on Friday 24 April.
The victim, an 87-year-old woman, was in her front garden when a man driving a white van pulled up outside her home and told her he was there to cut her trees.
The man walked into her back garden and asked for several hundred pounds to cut them down. The victim refused and the man then pulled a chain from around the woman’s neck.
The man had previously visited the woman’s home on Wednesday 22 April and told her that he was completing gardening for some of her neighbours.
The woman was not hurt but was left shaken.
A little over 30 minutes later, at 7.55pm, the force received a call reporting a burglary at a house in Willetts Road, Chaddesden.
The couple, a man in his 70s and a woman in her 60s, told officers that a man had rang the doorbell and, after the woman opened the door, pushed his way into the house.
The burglar, who was described as being in his 50s, was wearing shorts, a navy-blue t-shirt, had a black and white face covering.
The man ripped a chain from both victim’s neck caused a minor cut to the woman’s hand with a knife during the incident, while the man was pushed to the ground and suffered bruising to his back.
Neither the man or the woman required any medical treatment.
The suspect left the scene carrying a baseball bat which had taken from the house and got into a white Transit van which is believed to have left in the direction of Breadsall.
Detectives want to speak to anyone who was in two areas at the time of the incidents and may be able to help enquiries. Of particular interest are any drivers who may have captured the van on dashcam video.
DS Nicola Musson, the officer leading the investigation into the two incidents, said: “These types of incidents are thankfully rare in our county and I understand the concern that this raises.
“In the current time we have seen incredible community spirit and I would urge everyone to make that extra effort to look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours who, sadly, may be targeted by unscrupulous criminals.
“Myself and my team are working hard to track down the person responsible for these two incidents and I would ask anyone with any information, no matter how small it may seem, to come forward.”
If you have any information which you believe may be able to help officers you should contact Derbyshire police using any of the below methods, including reference 20*209925 for the incident in Chellaston and 20*210061 for the incident in Chaddesden in any correspondence:
Facebook – send us a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
Twitter – direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact