ELDERLY people have been targeted in a spate of burglaries in Bournemouth.

Since the middle of January 2014, a total of ten burglaries have been reported to police in the areas of West Howe, Kinson, Wallisdown and Alderney.

In the majority of cases, an unknown offender has entered the insecure properties stealing cash, jewellery and other personal items.

The burglary at a house on Corbiere Avenue, in Alderney, took place some time between 10am and 12pm on Sunday, March 9 while the victim was in the garden. An unknown person entered the property via an insecure side door, carried out a search of the bedroom and stole money and jewellery.

At a house on Edward Road, in West Howe, a lock was forced in order to gain entry on Friday, March 7 some time between 10.30am and 1.30pm. Jewellery and commemorative coins were taken while the victims were out.

At a house on Tedder Road, in West Howe, another burglary occurred on Wednesday, March 5. Between 10am and 2pm, an unknown offender entered the property through the insecure front door. A search was conducted in the upstairs of the property while the victim was downstairs and cash and personal items were taken.

Detective Constable Andy Brix, of the Priority Crime Team, said: “This is a particularly despicable crime where the callous offender has targeted a vulnerable group of people showing no regard for the victims who are extremely upset.

“Most of the offences have occurred at insecure premises, while the victim is in another part of the property and unaware that someone is in the house. There have been several occasions where the offender has either been disturbed or has encountered the victim but has been brazen enough to still steal items.

“The offender is described as a white man and is between five feet six inches and five feet ten inches tall. He is thought to be scruffy in appearance with dark hair. In a few instances he has been seen leaving the scene on a pedal cycle.

“The items taken are mostly jewellery or quantities of cash.

“I am appealing to anyone who may have information about any of the burglaries mentioned, or may have seen someone acting suspiciously in these areas since the middle of January.

“I would like to highlight the importance of making sure windows and doors are kept secure in order to deter opportunist burglars. Keep doors and windows locked, including sheds and garages.

“Don’t leave valuables on display or in an obvious and easily accessible place – such as by your front door – and don’t keep large amounts of cash in your home.

“I would also urge people to keep their eyes peeled for anyone acting suspiciously in their area. If you see something suspicious or if you think a burglary is taking place, please call the police immediately.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 quoting crime series 1119. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.