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A COMMUNITY is pulling together to guard against a cruel thief who is preying on the elderly.

In just nine days two pensioners have been targeted on the Whinney Hill Park estate, Brighouse, acts described by police as “despicable”.

Residents say they are refusing to feel intimidated by the incidents and have pulled together as a community.

On Monday at 3.20pm an 80-year-old woman was asked by a man if she could change a £10 note. But when she picked up her handbag, the man grabbed the bag knocking the pensioner to the floor.

She was taken to Calderdale Royal Hospital with a fractured hip and is in a stable condition.

Detectives are linking the incident to a wallet snatch in the same area on Saturday, September 17.

At about 2.30pm, an 85-year-old man opened his door to a man claiming to be taking part in a charity bike ride.

But when the elderly man went back into his house to fetch his wallet, the young man grabbed the wallet and fled.

Detective Inspector Tony Nicholson, of Calderdale CID, warned residents in the area to remain vigilant.

“This was a despicable crime against a vulnerable and defenceless woman in her own home.

“I would like to reassure the local community that we will act upon any information passed to us and we ask that anyone who may have seen anything or who has any information contacts Calderdale CID on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

Neighbour Sandra Smith described the attacks as “disgusting”

“I personally think it is someone living locally who knows who is vulnerable,” she said.

“It has made the elderly challenge people on their doorsteps and to be careful who they open their doors to.”