WATCH: Shrewsbury armed robbery victim, 81, tells of masked gang raid terror
An 81-year-old man has spoken of the terrifying moment four masked robbers armed with a metal bar and screwdriver smashed his front door down and ransacked his house.
The robbery at Neville and Mary Titley’s home in Leamore Crescent, Shrewsbury, was one of three similar incidents believed to have been carried out by the same gang on the evening of October 3.
Mr Titley was downstairs in the living room of their home when the men burst into the house.
He said: “I was watching the 7 o’clock news when I heard this bang.
“My front door had been smashed in and four blokes came in with masks and smashed my house up.
WATCH: Robbery victim describes masked raid
“They pushed me back down onto the couch and told me to stay where I was.
“They had a metal bar and a screwdriver. I did as they said. I am 81, I didn’t fancy taking on four masked men.”
Joke with robbers
His first thought was for the safety of his disabled 83-year-old wife, who was upstairs, but thankfully the men – who claimed to be police officers – remained downstairs.
Mr Titley, who said he was “surprised” by the uninvited visitors, was not intimidated and even joked with the robbers as they searched his home.
Mr Titley said: “They said, ‘we are police and we understand you’ve got dirty magazines’.
“I told them, ‘I’ve got some dusty copies of Gardener’s World, you’re welcome to those if you want them’.”
The robbers were in the house for 10 to 15 minutes before making off with £400.
They left the area in a vehicle in the direction of Reabrook Avenue.
The couple have lived in their home since the houses were built in 1960 and Mr Titley believes they were targeted as they still had the original door, whereas others on the street had stronger, more modern replacements.
Local company Everglade has since donated a new door, and Mr Titley says he is not scared about something similar happening again.
After leaving Mr and Mrs Titley’s home, the gang targeted a house in Lower Road in Harmer Hill at around 8pm.
They forced entry to the property and threatened the occupants with a screwdriver before stealing cash.
The third incident happened at around 8.15pm in Eckford Park, Wem.
Four men rang the doorbell, shouted at the victims through the letterbox and attempted to force their way in but were unsuccessful and made off on foot empty-handed.
The incidents are being treated as linked but no arrests have yet been made and police today renewed their appeal for information.
Detective Sergeant Alex Sullivan, from West Mercia Police, said: “These incidents were understandably frightening ordeals for the elderly victims who were targeted, and we will do everything in our power to bring the offenders to justice.”
Anyone with information that could help police is asked to call 101.
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