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Blind Sheffield man targeted

Kevin Burgin who is totally blind, whose home was burgled after a number of vandalisam incidents on his home

Kevin Burgin who is totally blind, whose home was burgled after a number of vandalisam incidents on his home

  • by Claire Lewis
 

A blind man fears criminals are targeting him deliberately, following a burglary and spate of vandalism at his Sheffield home.

Kevin Burgin, who was born partially sighted and lost all his vision when he was a young boy, says he feels unsafe in his bungalow following the latest break-in.

A security firm has already offered to fit a camera system and alarm free of charge - and is putting up a reward - after being moved by Mr Burgin’s plight.

But Mr Burgin, aged 40, says he feels ‘helpless’ in his council property, the location of which The Star has chosen to protect.

“It does feel like I am being targeted because I am blind - perhaps they think I am an easy target?” he said.

A neighbour’s daughter saw the culprit responsible for last Friday’s burglary climbing out of Mr Burgin’s bathroom window, which had been smashed earlier to gain entry.

A flowerpot had also been hurled at Mr Burgin’s living room window the same night.

In separate incidents a glass panel has been smashed on his front door, and a few weeks later his kitchen window was smashed.

Mr Burgin, who lives alone, said he has also been plagued by strangers knocking at his door trying to con money out of him by pretending to be council officials sent to carry out repairs to his home.

Kind-hearted staff at South Yorkshire Security Solutions, who installed a burglar alarm at the property after earlier trouble, have now offered to fit a sophisticated monitored camera system and alarm free of charge in a bid to deter criminals. They are also offering a reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of the burglar who struck last week.

Chris Wooding, from the firm, said: “We were disgusted to hear someone would do this to somebody who is blind, so we want to do all we can to improve Mr Burgin’s security so people know there will be people monitoring his home.

“We also hope the reward means somebody will come forward with information to help the police.”

Mr Burgin said: “Whoever broke in threw a flowerpot at my window first, but the window did not smash. So they then went to the bathroom window at the side and smashed that to get in.

“A neighbour’s daughter heard the alarm sounding and saw the burglar climbing out of the window so she phoned the police.

“There was glass everywhere and all my belongings had been moved about, but I haven’t yet worked out whether anything was stolen.”

Mr Burgin’s mum, Jean, 64, said: “Kevin is very upset, and it is keeping me and his dad awake at night too, wondering what is going to happen next.

“We would like him to be moved away from that area to try to stop these things happening.

“I hope the police catch who is responsible.”

A police investigation into the burglary is under way.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed: “An offender gained entry by smashing a window but was disturbed before anything is believed to have been stolen.

“Police are aware of three criminal damage offences at the same address last year. On all four occasions, police visited the occupant and provided crime advice.

“Officers from the local safer neighbourhood team have also visited the occupant after last Friday’s break-in to discuss a bespoke repeat victim plan.”

Any witnesses should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 881 of Friday, January 3, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

 

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