Elderly Targets

Our elderly parents and grandparents are vulnerable living alone... And plenty of people in Amarillo want to take advantage of them. Not just Amarillo. According to the Bureau of Statistics... When compared to other age groups, persons 65 or older are disproportionately affected by property crimes.

NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg sat down with one woman who's generosity ended with her getting robbed. She joins us live in the studio with her story.

The victim wanted to remain anonymous so we'll call her "Sheri".

She says a pregnant woman came to her door repeatedly asking for money.

After "Sheri" allowed her in, her purse disappeared.

"She was talking about her children and said I'd like to talk to you, and then she said may I come in and I let her in and then she said she needed to use the bathroom. I didn't think about her having an alterior motive," says "Sheri".

But as soon as "Sheri" looked away, the woman allegedly took her purse. When the woman was gone, "Sheri" realized her purse was too, so she called police.

The suspect hid the purse in an unusual place, under this bathroom sink, it was until the next day when "Sheri" found it, the cash was missing. Sheri says this isn't an isolated event.

"They told me it happened in this vicinity and someone else had a similar incident so I think maybe it's kinda going around."

This incident has made Sheri think twice about continuing to live alone.

"I've thought I might need to, I don't know that I will, but I may need to live in assisted living, where there is someone." Nevertheless she's learned her lesson, and changed all her locks.

"I don't trust anyone and I surely won't let them in the house."

Amarillo police say this sort of crime happens often.

They urge elderly people to always be weary of someone who knocks at your door who you don't know.

It's a trend being seen around the nation....the elderly are prime targets of property theft.

Between 1993 and 2002 more than 9 out of 10 crimes against the elderly were property crimes.

In 2005, 20% of personal crimes against the elderly were thefts compared to 3% for those aged 12 to 49.