Lets Help Bernard Whittaker
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A distraction burglar was today condemned as "shameful" after he stole cash from a 94-year-old former Japanese prisoner of war. The thief took £90 from Bernard Whittaker's savings jar after claiming he was going to clear his guttering. ...

A distraction burglar was today condemned as "shameful" after he stole cash from a 94-year-old former Japanese prisoner of war.

The thief took £90 from Bernard Whittaker's savings jar after claiming he was going to clear his guttering.

Mr Whittaker, who is registered blind, hard of hearing and has a pacemaker, said: "I can't believe how low some people can stoop.

"This bloke has targeted me and could see that, because I can't see very well or get about on my pins as well as I used to, I am easy prey.

"I feel a fool for falling for such a trick but also saddened at this can happen to me in my home in the middle of the day."

Neighbour Bob Henderson called the theft "despicable", saying: "It is a shameful thing to do after what Bernard survived and did for his country. Words cannot express how I feel about this low-life. I wish I could get my hands on him."

Mr Whittaker said the thief struck between 12.30pm and 1pm on Thursday as he waited for a meal to be delivered from a local cafe at his home in Knighton, Leicester.

He said: "I had had workmen in the house that week doing some wiring and that threw me a little.

"The meal was later than normal and that also upset my routine, so when this bloke turned up I was bit out of sorts.

"He said I needed my gutters clearing and offered to do it for £40. I told him I did not have £40 so he said he could do it for £20.

"I agreed to that and got him the money from my jar. He then said he needed me to turn the taps on upstairs to help with water flow – and I fell for it.

"I had to go upstairs on my stairlift and, by the time I came back down, he had gone and my jar was empty. He had taken £90 I had been saving to pay for my carer for two weeks. I suppose I will have to go without now."

Mr Whittaker, who joined the Royal Leicestershire Regiment, known as the Tigers, was captured in Singapore in 1940.

He spent five years in a Japanese prison camp and was forced to work on the Burma Railway – also known as Death Railway and featured in the classic movie Bridge On The River Kwai.

More than 12,000 Allied troops and 90,000 Asians died in the building of the railway.

Mr Whittaker said: "I watched some of my friends die out there. We were fed just one cup of rice a day. When I was liberated I weighed just three and a half stones. I was a walking skeleton.

"I eventually got back to Leicester and was met at the station by my father. It was good to be home because I was lucky to survive."

A police spokeswoman confirmed they were investigating the distraction burglary.

She said: "The suspect is described as a clean-shaven white man, aged between 40 and 50.

"He was wearing a black jacket with high visibility markings on the shoulders. We'd like to hear from anyone who may have seen the suspect."

Anyone with any information should contact Detective Constable Peter Bown on 101.



Read more: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Shameful-burglar-steals-cash-blind-94-year-old/story-20065520-detail/story.html#ixzz2kSZIbfDW

Lets try and get his money back!!!! Please help

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