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Thief stole from woman, 90, after asking for glass of water

July 18, 2021
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A heartless thief stole £60 from an elderly woman after he asked her for a glass of water in a distraction burglary.

Gary Hastings knocked on the 90-year-old’s front door and first persuaded her to buy some household items he was selling.

The woman had just got in from shopping and was feeling tired. Keen to get rid of him, she paid him £40 for a duster, carpet cleaner, car windscreen scrapper and a sticky-tape holder.

But that was not enough for Hastings.

The 25-year-old then asked for a drink of water, which the pensioner agreed to by telling him to wait on the doorstep a minute.

Hastings ignored her instruction and instead followed the woman into the kitchen where he made conversation about her garden.

He then drank the water and left.

Moments later, the elderly woman noticed her wallet was not where she left it and that £60 was missing from it.

She called the police and a forensic team arrived to gather evidence. Officers then used fingerprint records on police databases to identify Hastings as the man responsible.

Hastings was subsequently arrested and charged in relation to the incident.

He pleaded guilty to burglary at Nottingham Crown Court and was given a 14-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £100 compensation to his victim.

Following the sentencing, investigating officer Detective Sergeant Gary Hewson said: “This was a despicable burglary and I am pleased we have managed to secure this conviction.

“Hastings preyed on the vulnerability of a lovely lady in her home and repaid her kindness by distracting her attention and stealing her money.

“His actions were cruel and abhorrent. He is a heartless criminal and I hope his conviction will act as a warning and a deterrent to thieves who seek to prey on vulnerable people.

“I would urge anyone with elderly or vulnerable friends, family or neighbours to make themselves familiar with the advice we offer in relation to bogus callers and distraction burglaries, and pass this information on.”

Advice about protecting against bogus callers can be found on the force website:  Advice guide - Dealing with unexpected callers | Nottinghamshire Police

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