A balaclava-wearing thief who stole a “large amount” of cash from the bedroom of a quadriplegic man had knowledge of the Mayfield home, police say.
About 4am on Thursday a man wearing gloves and a balaclava entered a home in Gregory Street via the front door.
The victim, a 70-year-old man, had an oral alarm tube which can be blown when he requires assistance but the offender removed the tube.
Tasmania Police Detective Inspector Gary Williams said the attack was targeted.
“The fact that the offender deliberately removed the oral alarm tube from the victim led us to believe the offender was aware that the oral alarm tube was the only way that the disabled male was able to call for assistance,” he said.
After removing the oral alarm the offender took a “large amount” of cash from the victim’s bedroom.
“Whilst the crime of any nature shouldn’t be tolerated in the community, police are particularly appalled by the nature of this particular crime in the fact that a extremely vulnerable member of our community was targeted by this offender,” Detective Inspector Williams said.
“We are not used to seeing vulnerable people in the community targeted in this fashion and this is a particularly callous act.”
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A short conversation took place between the victim and the offender during the burglary. The victim lives alone and was unable to call for help after the offender left because the oral alarm tube was removed.
“He was able to tell his carer when the carer arrived at 7am,” Detective Inspector Williams said.
Carers Tasmania chief executive David Brennan said the organisation shared the outrage and disgust of the Launceston community that such a vulnerable, elderly man has been violated in such a confronting manner.
“This sad event reinforces that need for each member of the community to proactively care for family, neighbours and friends, and not allow anyone to be left isolated and alone.”
Police were investigating a number of cars that were sighted in the area.
Anyone with information should contact police on 131 444, or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.