NEIGHBOURS of a disabled man robbed in his own home while his mother was visiting the shops have branded the thief “sick”.
The 44-year-old was sitting in his wheelchair alone in his Dalkeith home when the man walked in, spoke to him and then stole his wallet, which had been sitting on his lap.
The victim was pushed during a brief struggle before the attacker fled the Easthouses Court flat between 12.30pm and 1.20pm on Thursday.
It emerged that the property’s front door had been left unlocked while the disabled man’s mother, who is his primary carer, made a short trip to the shops.
The victim was left shaken by the opportunistic attack, but was not injured.
Neighbour Liz Greens, 58, who described the victim as a “nice laddie”, said: “I don’t know how people could do that. It’s really sick.”
Ms Greens said the block of 12 flats that made up Easthouses Court were all occupied by either those with a disability, or “elderly and vulnerable people”.
“Now that this has happened I will be getting out of here. It is people in their 60s and 70s that live around here. It’s obviously being targeted.”
Margot Russell, Labour councillor for the Dalkeith ward, said: “It’s frightening if disabled people are being targeted and I do hope that the police get a good response following their appeal.
“We must come down hard on people who take advantage of the most vulnerable people in our society.”
“I seriously hope it is a unique set of circumstances.”
Detectives said they were looking for a suspect who was white and in his mid-40s, slim, with dark hair, a goatee beard and moustache.
The man was wearing a black beanie hat, a black three-quarter-length jacket and blue jeans at the time of the robbery.
Detective Inspector Martin Black said: “The victim was not injured but was left very distressed after a male entered his home uninvited and robbed him of his wallet.
“We conducted local inquiries to see if residents in the area saw anything suspicious and are keen to hear from anyone with information that can help with this investigation.
“Similarly, anyone who recognises the description of the suspect and can assist officers in identifying him is asked to contact police immediately.”
Police have asked anyone with information to contact them on the non-emergency 101 number or via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.