Police link violent burglary in Tattingstone to two similar crimes in west Suffolk

Tattingstone village sign.

Tattingstone village sign. - Credit: Archant

A pensioner ended up in hospital after being hit in the face by burglars who burst into his Tattingstone home and stole cash - and now police believe it could be linked to burglaries in Cavendish and Bury st Edmunds.

Residents in the village have been urged to remain vigilant after three men forced their way into the home of a couple in their 70s in Church Road and demanded money from the pair.

The male victim suffered facial injuries after being struck in the face by one of the intruders. An ambulance was called and the man was taken to Ipswich Hospital for further treatment after the incident at around 8.45pm on Wednesday.

An extensive search of the area was carried out that night, assisted by the police helicopter and dog units, but the men could not be found. Forensic evidence was collected and door to door enquiries were made yesterday.

Suffolk Police said last night they believe the incident may be linked to two similar burglaries in the county – one in High Street, Cavendish, and the other in Hervey Road, Bury St Edmunds.

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They also believe a call received on February 7 from the same Church Road address could have links to Wednesday’s burglary - three men, believed to be in their 40s with northern accents - were disturbed in a cattle shed. When challenged, one brandished a knife that had been stolen from the shed, but no physical contact was reported.

“There was an excessive use of violence in this case. To leave a man of his age with such facial injury is completely unacceptable, and the couple are understandably shaken up,” said Detective Inspector Matthew Connick.

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“We are exploring the possibility of linking last night’s incident with two similar burglaries that have occurred within a nine week period. Each one has involved a group of men who have pushed their way into the houses of elderly people.”

At around 6.10pm on January 12 police were called to an address in High Street, Cavendish, where the female resident had three or four men barge past her and demand money. A quantity of cash was stolen.

And at 8.10pm on March 7 four or five men forced open the back door of a property owned by an elderly couple in Hervey Road, Bury St Edmunds. At least three of them pushed their way past the victim.

Detective Inspector Connick added: “I would urge people in the communities in which the incidents happened and on a wider note - Suffolk as a whole - to remain vigilant and to consider the security of their homes at this time.

“We are taking all the steps we can to prevent any further attacks from happening.”

Chairman of Tattingstone Parish Council, Albert Collins, said such instances of crime and violence were rare in the village - named Suffolk village of the year in 2011 - and had saddened the community.

“We are a tight knit community that looks after each other,” he said. “It’s a quiet village.

“We had one or two burglaries about a year ago, but it’s a very unusual occurance, certainly accompanied with the violence.”

He said the community would be ‘redoubling their efforts’ against crime after the incident.

The Tattingstone suspects are described as three white men, all wearing dark-coloured clothing, with at least one of them wearing a scarf covering his face.

A grey Volkswagen Golf with a broken brake light on the driver’s side was seen near to the Church Street address on February 7, and officers are appealing for information about the car.

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