Thieves swipe thousands raised for Yorkshire Air Ambulance and family heirloom in Harrogate

Thieves have forced their way into a disabled pensioner's home in Harrogate, stealing £2,500 intended for charity and leaving them fearing further break-ins.

Monday, 19th February 2018, 12:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st February 2018, 11:00 am
Ken Horner, 85, discovered his home had been ransacked on Saturday

Ken Horner, 85, left his home on Haggs Roads in Follifoot on Saturday morning (February,17), returning at 2pm he discovered the door to his static caravan almost on the floor and leaving him ‘expecting the worst.’

The cash, raised for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, was taken alongside £2,500 in savings and other items including documents for Jack Russell dogs, which Mr Horner breeds.

While appealing for the public to contact police if they have information Mr Horner has said the incident has left him worried, dogs were previously stolen from his home two years ago.

The family heirloom dates back to 1893

He said: “When I came back I found one of my dogs running around the compound, my porch door had been staved in and was almost on the floor. The other was just on the hinges. I expected the worst. It was left in such a mess.

“They had turned over my pneumatic bed and tipped over the cabinets, throwing my clothes everywhere.”

He added: “The phone hasn’t stopped since this happened, last night people were getting in touch to say how could they would do this to a disabled pensioner who works for others?

“The pups have been moved now for safety, as this whole thing has left me fearful of what could happen.

The family heirloom dates back to 1893

“At the moment I daren’t go out, at least until the doors are back in place.”

Raising more than £50,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and around £6,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support over the years, Mr Horner has received citations for his charitable efforts.

Part of these funds was raised through the sale of walking sticks and shepherd crooks he makes himself, however part of his own collection was stolen in the break-in.

Around 10 were taken, including a distinctive badgers head carved stick which is believed to be valued at £250.

Thieves also took a family heirloom from Mr Horner’s home, a solid silver Mappin and Webb medallion dating from 1893 which had been passed down for generations. It had originally been given out at the Wetherby Show that year.

He said: “It was passed from my grandfather to my father and then to me. It was a very personal heirloom and something I had to remember him by.”

If you have information about any of the stolen items or about the break-in you can contact North Yorkshire Police on 101.