ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI) - A blind grandmother is recovering after two men pushed themselves into her home and stole from her, posing as storm damage repairmen.
Police have one of these men in custody. Twenty-five year-old Daniel Mitchell of Collinsville is charged with theft and burglary. However, the other man is still on the loose, and the victim hopes finding him might stop what’s unfortunately become a pattern.
84 year-old Patty Dickson has lived in this quiet St. Charles neighborhood since the 1950s. It’s where she raised her family, but now, it’s just Patty and her lovable dog, Ted. Unfortunately, he wasn’t much of a guard dog when the two men knocked on her back door. She explains, “They came in and told me that we had a storm, and the other guy ran for my bedroom, and he emptied everything.”
Luckily, Patty’s neighbor saw what was happening and swooped in to help. The blind widow now calls him her guardian angel. “He took money out of my purse and was digging in my drawer when Steve told him to get out and so on and so forth,” she says.
The neighbor wrote down their license plate number and quickly called police, but the thieves still got away with jewelry and some cash.
For Patty, the ordeal is just too much déjà vu: “I think they had been here once before because they knew their way around.”
Last time, the men stole her jewelry. The time before that, a thief posing as a contractor took her to the bank, took her money, and ran. Patty says, “I thought, oh my God, not again. This is disgusting. I’ve lived here all these years and have had no trouble.”
Now, the grandmother is a lot more careful, and police hope this’ll be a learning experience for her and other seniors who live alone.
St. Charles Police Spokesman Erik Lawrenz explains, “Unfortunately people are out there just looking for a quick score, and they take advantage of anybody and everybody. So it’s just one of those things, that if you have any elderly people living in your neighborhood, just watch out for them and make sure that this kind of thing isn’t happening to them.”
Patty adds, “I still trust people, I think. I just wish they’d leave all the old ladies alone.”