A MAN who deliberately targeted elderly and vulnerable residents in Barnsley has been jailed for more than six years after being found guilty of multiple burglaries.

Felix Hanrahan, 41, formerly of Firth Crescent in Doncaster, was found guilty of three counts of burglary at Hull Crown Court last Thursday.

Hanrahan committed three distraction burglaries in Wombwell and Pogmoor between April 17 and April 20, each time pretending he had completed building works for vulnerable residents, saying he noticed their roofing tiles were loose.

He then requested a small amount of money for the work, before stealing a larger sum of money when the victims were distracted.

Officers released a public appeal in May and as a result Hanrahan was arrested and charged.

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Detective Constable Sally Eyre said: “Hanrahan deliberately targeted elderly and vulnerable members of the community, using sly tactics to gain entry to their homes even though two of his victims were in self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“He manipulated his victims, claiming he’d completed work for them and demanded payment.

“He’d then find some way of getting his victims to leave the room at which point he would steal significant sums of money from them.

“His behaviour is truly appalling and I am pleased he has been convicted and handed a jail term for his crimes.

“I am very grateful to the public, who provided vital information that allowed us to identify Hanrahan, bring him before the courts and secure justice.

“I want to take this opportunity to remind our communities about the dangers of distraction burglary.

“These criminals will try a variety of underhand tactics to fool their victims into letting them into their homes.

“If you have elderly or vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours, please remind them that it is perfectly acceptable to challenge a doorstep caller, especially if you aren’t expecting anyone.

“We will not tolerate individuals who choose to exploit vulnerable members of our community and will take action to identify those involved in this type of criminality.”