An elderly man has been left with serious injuries after being attacked during a distraction burglary in Taunton.
The 96-year-old man was at his home in Gipsy Lane when he answered a call at the door between 4pm and 5pm yesterday (November 22).
The caller asked the victim if he wanted some work done on his house. When he refused, the man attacked the victim with what’s believed to be a claw hammer.
The victim suffered serious injuries to his head and body and was taken to hospital for treatment.
DCI James Riccio said: “This was a vicious and sickening attack on an elderly man in his own home and we’ve launched a full-scale investigation to find the person who did this.
“The victim managed to raise the alarm with a neighbour before being taken to hospital, where his condition is described as potentially life-threatening.
“We cordoned off the scene and carried out house-to-house enquiries last night. A dog unit was also involved in an initial search of the area, but more searches will be carried out today.
“The offender has been described as white, in his mid-thirties, clean-shaven, solid/athletic build, with dark hair. He was wearing dark clothing and jeans.”
Can you help?
*Did you see or hear anything suspicious in the Gipsy Lane area of Taunton yesterday afternoon?
*Did you see anyone matching this description in the Gipsy Lane or wider Taunton area yesterday, or in recent days?
*If you live in Taunton, have you had someone cold-calling at your property over the past few days offering to do work on your property? If so, we want to hear from you.
DCI Riccio added: “Offences of this magnitude are rare but I’d like to reassure residents that we’re using all necessary resources to investigate this crime.
“It’s hard to imagine how anyone could attack a 96-year-old man in his own home and I believe there will be people who have knowledge about who was responsible. If you do, I’d ask you to examine your conscience and do the right thing in calling us with a name.
“There will be increased police activity around the Gipsy Lane area over the next few days. If you have any concerns, please speak to a member of your neighbourhood policing team.”
If you can help, please call us on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5217268169.
If you don’t want to speak to the police, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They never ask for your name, or trace your call. You can also provide information 100 per cent anonymously via their website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org