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Cowardly robber targets disabled men

November 23, 2012, 11:56 am

A cowardly robber who targeted two disabled men is being hunted by police.

In the first incident, on Tuesday 6 November, a 21-year-old man, who has cerebral palsy and a learning impairment, was walking home along Berkeley Road, Hay Mills, when he was approached by an Asian man who asked him where he lived and if he had any money.

When the victim refused to answer, that his attacker patted his pockets before taking five pound coins. Amazingly, he then apologised and wandered off towards Coventry Road leaving his victim to walk home and tell his family what happened.

The robbery happened at around 10.45pm.

The next day at around 1.30pm, a 21-year-old man was in Digby Park on Somerville Road, Small Heath, using his iPad when a man – described as Asian, around 25-years-old, 510” tall and with a round face – took the computer and proceeded to pat his victim down.

He then stole his wheelchair, using victims HTC smart phone, before running off. The robber was wearing a black ‘Stone Island’ waterproof jacket grey, soft cotton tracksuit bottoms and black trainers.

The alarm was raised just over an hour later when the victim, who lives locally, got home.

“While we are yet to prove that the same person committed the two robberies, they are so similar that we strongly believe this is the same person,” said Detective Constable Emma Shakespeare, who is investigating.

“The crimes may be opportunistic, but there is a possibility that the two men were targeted because of their respective impairments.”

Neither of the men were injured in the robberies but both were left badly shaken.

“Crimes like this are exceptionally rare and thats why we are treating them extremely seriously. I would like to reassure the local and disabled communities that we are working hard to find the person or people responsible, but if were to do this and prevent repeat offences, I need anyone with information which may aid our investigation to get in touch.

“I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who was in the areas at the time of the robberies who may have seen something suspicious which they are yet to talk to us about.”

Anyone who can help DC Shakespeare should call her at Stecthford police station on 101. Alternatively, people who do not want to speak with police officers directly can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

News of the crimes comes at a time when robbery in east Birmingham is down by 19 per cent. Between April 2012 and November there have been 901 robberies compared to 995 the same period last year.

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