Jul 6 2012 by Jackie Grant, Dumfries Standard Friday
A 91-YEAR-OLD war veteran was attacked on his doorstep by a thug claiming to be from the council.
The brave pensioner tried to fight back when the conman burst into his Dalswinton Avenue home in Dumfries on Tuesday morning.
He made a grab for the thief but was overpowered and knocked to the floor.
The callous conman, who had initially offered to do gardening work and had shown an identification badge, grabbed the man’s wallet containing £60 and ran off leaving his shocked victim on the ground.
The plucky pensioner told the Standard: “If I’d had my walking stick with me, I’d have thumped him.
“I grabbed his badge out his hand while I was on the floor but I wasn’t strong enough and he managed to get it back.”
He added: “I’ve got a table in my hall and if I’d cracked my head off that, I could be dead.
“I’ve also got a pacemaker in and take tablets for my heart. The shock of what happened could have killed me.”
Police are investigating the incident and three similar cases – two on Tuesday and another on Wednesday.
Chief Inspector Graham Kerr said: “This was a cowardly attack on an elderly and vulnerable gentleman in his own home.
“We are working hard to catch the man who carried out this crime.”
He added: “We are still appealing for witnesses and particularly want to hear from anyone who may have had a similar type of experience to get in touch with details if they haven’t already done so.”
The attack, which happened at 11.45am, was the second of three similar incidents that day.
In each one the man approached householders proposing to carry out work.
At 11.15am, a woman from nearby Dunlop Road was approached by a man offering to cut a hedge and they rowed over the cost.
And at around 4pm at Holywood, a man entered the home of a woman in Dercongal Road asking to repair her fence.
The next day, between 5pm and 5.30pm, in McAughtrie Court, a man claiming to be from the Water Board stole a purse.
In the Dalswinton Avenue attack, the conman said he was from the council and would trim trees and bushes in the garden for £50.
The pensioner, who has lived in the street for 54 years, refused to pay.
He said: “He had a look about him and I told him if he didn’t get out, I’d phone the police.
“I pulled the front door open and he just jumped at me, hurling me to the ground and told me to give him my wallet.”
The shaken pensioner phoned his neighbour after the attack and when she arrived she called for a doctor.
She said: “I don’t know what the world’s coming to. You work hard all your life and then somebody does something like this to you.
“It’s terrifying to think somebody might have been watching the house and targeting elderly people on their own.
“It puts the fear of God in you.”
The pensioner, who served in the Army with the Royal Artillery, added: “There was only £60 in my wallet and my bank card.
“I feel alright physically, but this has affected me mentally.
“And I’m worried that the person who did this comes back to my house to try and shut me up. I hope they’re caught and put away for a long time.”
Anyone with information on any of the incidents are asked to contact police on 0845 600 5701.