Pensioner attacked and robbed by masked gang in her Rastrick home

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An 85-year-old woman was the victim of a violent attack in her home in Rastrick.

A masked gang of men went into the house on Oaks Green Mount demanding cash.

They grabbed the woman’s arm and hit her in the face before escaping with cash.

She suffered bruising to her arm and face.

All three have been described as in their teens and wearing balaclavas.

Detectives investigating the robbery, which happened just before 11pm on Saturday, are urging anyone with information that might help to get in touch.

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Long, from Calderdale CID, said: “This was an attack on an old lady for just a few pounds.

“Although she wasn’t seriously injured she did have to go to hospital and was left very shaken.

“I am making a direct appeal to anyone who has seen this incident to get in touch with Calderdale CID on 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

“Thankfully incidents like this in West Yorkshire and Calderdale in particular are extremely rare and we have increased patrols in the area to help reassure residents.”

One line of inquiry officers are investigating is that the offenders may have been people who had previously been to the property.

“They seemed to know what they were doing when they went in so we are looking at whether this lady may have had someone call round at her house and carry out some work inside,” added Det Chf Insp Long.

“We are also investigating if anyone else locally has been the victim of a so-called bogus burglary. A

“A bogus burglary is when someone goes to a house and pretends to be offering a service - for example by pretending to be from a utility provider or offering to carry out some work.

“Their intention, however, is to distract the householder - for example by asking them to run a tap - or asking them to make a cup of tea.

“They will then steal valuables when the person’s back is turned.”

Officers are also urging residents to take extra care this Christmas to guard against festive thieves.

“Christmas is a time for giving but opportunist thieves have their eyes fixed on anything they can get their hands on - and at this time of year there are often a lot of valuable items under the tree,” said Det Chf Insp Long.

“But there are simple steps you can carry out to make life a lot more difficult for thieves. By simply locking your doors and windows you are making life much more difficult for the opportunist thief who will simply move on to another property.

“And if you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours or relatives then check they are OK and have precautions, such as a chain on the door, and know to always ask for identification of any un-invited callers.

“Genuine service providers will not have a problem in you simply asking to see their identification and genuine trades people will not be offended if you ask them to come back another time when there is someone with you in the house.”

For further crime prevention advice visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/crimeprevention.