A wicked thief stole disability benefit from a wheelchair user after prowling a Birmingham retirement block looking for vulnerable victims.
Waheed Ahmed claimed to be collecting charity cash on a door-knocking tour of Balsall Heath and, having pocketed £200 in loose change, barged his way past the amputee to swipe his fortnightly pay-out from a kitchen table.
The 46-year-old took £480 in notes from the Edward Road address and moments later, as the pensioner was on the phone to police, returned to mop up the remaining pound coins he’d left behind.
Two PCSOs from Balsall Heath police station quickly stopped a man in the street suspected of accompanying Ahmed on the bogus collections, whilst house-to-house enquiries identified a man named “Saleem” as being responsible.
Local officers linked the name to Ahmed, from Wilton Road in Sparkhill, whilst descriptions of the attacker given by residents also pointed to him being the prime suspect.
He was arrested from his home address the morning after the June 14 theft last year and, having initially denied being involved, later admitted burglary after being picked out during ID procedures and being shown CCTV of him near the scene.
And at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday (Jan 27) he was jailed for five years.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Alan Nevin from West Midlands Police Force CID, said: “Ahmed’s actions were shameful: he conned many residents out of money claiming he was collecting for charity then attacked an amputee pensioner for disability allowance he needed to pay bills.
“He spotted the money on a table, asked to use a toilet in order to gain access to the house but when refused entry shoved the victim back into his wheelchair and scooped up the money. Incredibly, he returned shortly after to collect around £20 in pound coins whilst the man was dialling 999.
“This wasn’t an opportunist crime: Ahmed was scoping out residents in an area populated by largely retired people in the hope of finding easy targets.
“The disabled man wasn’t injured but Ahmed has rightly been handed a lengthy jail term for what was a despicable offence.”
A CCTV trawl carried out by detectives showed Ahmed asking diners for money at a local café minutes before knocking the 64-year-old man’s door at 9pm.
And a neighbour told officers how Ahmed jammed his foot against her front door, stopping her closing it, and appeared to be peering around her living room when he appeared at her door asking for mosque donations.
DC Nevin, added: “When arrested Ahmed claimed not to have been in the area on the night but was forced to alter his account when shown CCTV footage of him in the street seemingly mulling over which houses to approach.