A Vietnam War vet who recently suffered a stroke was robbed during a daylight home invasion in northeast Philadelphia Sunday in a crime that has authorities worried that thieves may be targeting the disabled in the area.
Philadelphia police told WPVI-TV that a man and two women
, one holding a young child, talked their way into the home of the military veteran who had trouble speaking because of his stroke. Authorities believe the trio tried other residences in the area — under the ruse of finding a home to rent — before robbing the 68-year-old veteran.
Khalaf Mungo, a neighbor of the veteran, told local reporters he turned the suspects away after noticing that they had a child in the back seat of their minivan.
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"She had to be about 3 years old, so I don't know if she was [one of the suspect's children]," Mungo told WPVI-TV. Moments later, he said he heard the veteran screaming at the male suspect.
"That man doesn't hurt nobody," Mungo said. "He stays to himself. He stays in his house and obviously he has a little bit of issues and this man is trying to help himself but you're taking from him."
The suspects, believed to be in their 50s with heavy foreign accents, took about $100 from the veteran in the robbery, police told the television station.
"People who prey on the disabled get no pity from me. Knock on my door," a relative of the victim told WPVI-TV. "From what I understand he's not the first and he probably won't be the last until they're caught."
The weekend incident was just the latest in what appears to be a growing nationwide trend of thieves targeting the elderly and disabled. In North Carolina on Thursday, a 59-year-old disabled veteran was shot in the leg during an attempted robbery at a convenience store ATM, WRAL-TV reported.
Cumberland County investigators told WRAL-TV that Melvin Morgan, 59, had just withdrawn money from an ATM in Fayetteville when he was confronted by a man demanding the cash. When Morgan refused, the suspect hit him in the head, pulled out a handgun, and shot him in the leg.
The incident was caught on a surveillance camera and witnesses told police that the suspect left in a white F-150 pickup truck, according to WRAL-TV.
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