A WHEELCHAIR-BOUND 101-year-old man who had his life savings stolen in a burglary has had some of the money replaced by generous police officers. The centenarian, who lives with his 75-year-old son, had almost £3,000 taken in a distraction burglary from his home in South Norwood on November 5. When Constable Zoe Garrod and Police Community Support Officer Tracy Isaac, of South Norwood Safer Neighbourhoods team, went for a reassurance visit, they were shocked by who had been targeted. PCSO Isaac said: "Me and Zoe walked out of the place in tears. He was a very, very frail old man and he's in a wheelchair. I don't think he really realised what was going on but his son did and he was very upset. "It was the money they use for his care. We decided we had to do something because it was such a horrible case. It was just a few days before his 101st birthday." They told their colleagues and put a collection together to try to raise some cash to help replace some of what was stolen. PC Helen Espinosa baked a birthday cake for him and presented the card with PC Garrod and PCSO Isaac during a surprise visit on Remembrance Day (November 11). The collection raised £750, which officers gave to the victim at their home last Thursday (November 21). PCSO Isaac added: "Since we first went round, we've been back about four times and they know us on first name terms now. We're friendly with them now and we will pop in when we are in the area, which will hopefully make them feel a bit safer. "We need to warn elderly people, especially with Christmas coming up, as they can be very trusting." Acting Detective Sergeant Andy Pike said: "The victim and his son have been great and were visibly touched when we went round with the money today, but it will hopefully make a big difference to their quality of life over the winter and help them to enjoy Christmas as well." The elderly man was tricked by a bogus cold caller, who burgled the place after being let in. Detectives continue to investigate the burglary, although no arrests have been made at this stage. Police are also advising residents to beware of bogus or cold callers and advise any elderly residents not to let unexpected callers into their homes.
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