Police today released an image of a suspect they want to speak to in connection with a series of violent late night robberies, targeting elderly and vulnerable people in their Bradford homes.
Victims, as old as 88, were left traumatised and in fear during three linked robberies in Manningham , committed by a man in traditional Muslim dress.
Detectives hope the image, captured on CCTV at one of the crime scenes, will help identify the robber.
The first victim, aged 72, was targeted at his flat in Mount Royds, between 11pm and 11.40pm, on Thursday, July 12. He was threatened by a man with a knife and an amount of cash was taken. The pensioner was uninjured but very shocked.
The second incident took place on Wednesday, July 18, between 10pm and 10.15pm, when an 88-year-old man in the same block of flats was threatened by a masked man with a hammer. The robber demanded cash before locking the victim in his own flat and making off. The victim had minor injuries.
The third robbery happened on Saturday, August 11, between 10pm and 10.30pm at flats in Manningham Lane, when a 53-year-old man was tricked into letting a suspect into his home. He was then subjected to a serious assault, being punched a number of times in the face. The suspect made off with an amount of cash, and the victim went to hospital for a check up.
On each occasion the suspect was wearing traditional Muslim dress.
Detective Inspector Tony Nicholson, of Bradford South CID, said: “The image we have released was taken from CCTV close to the address in Mount Royd on July 12, around the time the first offence occurred.
“It is important to establish the identity of this man as part of our investigations.
“On each occasion, the suspect involved in these robberies has demonstrated a particular knowledge of his victim, such as their name or people they knew.
“He has then used this to gain their confidence and enter their property.
“Once inside he has demanded cash, pin number and bank cards.
“The suspect is believed to be Asian, about 6ft tall, in his 30s, with a full beard, and of medium build.
“Someone in the local area may recall a man of this description asking unusual questions to gather this information and I would like to hear from them if this is the case.”
Det Insp Nicholson added: “It is particularly concerning that he has targeted his victims due to their vulnerability, using unnecessary violence in each case.
“It has left each victim traumatised and fearing for their safety.
“We need to find the person responsible as quickly as possible and I am calling on the community to tell us who the person is in the CCTV footage.
“If you can assist in our inquiries, please contact Bradford South CID on the non-emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.”