Bur­glars steal war vet­eran’s life sav­ings

Great grand­fa­ther’s flat was bro­ken into by thieves while he slept

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

HEART­LESS bur­glars broke into a Sec­ond World War vet­eran’s home and stole his life sav­ings as he slept.

They climbed in through an open win­dow at Lionel Lake’s shel­tered hous­ing flat, in St Catherine’s Farm Court, Howletts Lane, Ruis­lip, some time be­tween 9pm on Thurs­day and 1am on Fri­day.

The thieves ri­fled through the 91year-old’s clothes to find a key to his chest of draw­ers, be­fore snatch­ing en­velopes filled with £5,000 in notes.

The great grand­fa­ther said: “I’d saved this for years as a lit­tle nest egg for my two boys and two girls to make sure I leave them some­thing. Now it’s all gone.

“I’m a bit deaf and when I’m in bed and I’ve got my hear­ing aid out I can’t hear any­thing. I think they got in qui­etly some­how or other. It was such a shock to see my front room light on and the bureau open.”

Mr Lake said he had never told any­one, even fam­ily mem­bers, where the money was kept.

His grand­daugh­ter Sally Fitzger­ald, a 37-year-old re­cep­tion­ist from Ruis­lip, said: “He’s my hero and he’s the nicest man you could ever meet. I just feel so dev­as­tated.

“He was so shaken up. He couldn’t eat for two days. He’s a bit bet­ter now but he still doesn’t want to go out.”

She added: “I just think it’s so aw­ful that peo­ple can do this. They know it’s el­derly peo­ple who live there. They must have seen him ly­ing there in bed. It just makes me sick to my stom­ach.”

Mr Lake, who was born in Wat­ford, joined the Home Guard aged 15 and later en­tered the Bri­tish Army’s Ri­fle Brigade (Prince Con­sort’s Own) based in Winch­ester.

As a lance cor­po­ral he took part in the D-Day Land­ings in Nor­mandy in 1944.

He was knocked out by a mor­tar ex­plo­sion in Falaise that year, be­fore be­ing shipped home, where he re­ceived four medals.

The re­tired printer, who worked for Sun Prin­ters, in Wat­ford, lived in East­cote and then Ruis­lip with his wife Doris un­til her death in 2010, aged 88.

Po­lice have car­ried out foren­sic work and are study­ing CCTV in a bid to catch the bur­glars. They are ap­peal­ing for any­one with in­for­ma­tion to call 101.

n SHAKEN UP: Lionel Lake

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.