A disabled pensioner says she is ‘living in fear’ burglars will target her Sheffield home after a new boiler was fitted.
Grandmother Joyce Sulph-Johnson believes the copper piping which has been installed outside her home by fitters is serving as an advertisement to thieves.
The 71-year-old, who lives alone in Broomhall, Sheffield, has been struggling to sleep and says she has been in a state of worry since contractors for housing service Places for People came to replace the equipment at the start of the month.
She said youths have already been spotted hanging around the front of her property, which has been broken into twice in the last 12 months.
Former social worker Joyce, who has lived in the area for 22 years, said: “They came out and installed the boiler on January 6 and since then it has caused problems.
“There were kids hanging around outside my house eyeing it up. “I didn’t know what they were doing at first, I had no idea you could get so much money by selling copper.
“I rang the police the second time I saw people outside my house and they came and looked at the piping and said ‘what’s this, why is it here?’
“Other people have had boilers installed but their piping hasn’t been left outside the house.”
Joyce claims she has attempted to contact Places for People about the issue on several occasions but so far no one has been out to visit.
She said: “I’m in fear, panicking at night thinking they are going to come to my house for the piping.
“I am supposed to go swimming to help with my disability but I don’t want to leave and have it stolen.”
A spokesman for Places for People said: “We were unable to run internal piping inside the property because the floorboards were not accessible, and therefore the decision was made by our gas engineers to run piping on the outside of the property which is compliant with gas regulations.
“We are sorry to hear Mrs Sulph-Johnson’s concerns and we are contacting her to discuss these.”