The home of an 85-year old woman was broken into in broad daylight last Wednesday, whilst she was there with an elderly neighbour.
According to the houseowner, a South American stranger called at the house in Calle Sant Josep, Maó, stating that he had to inspect the interior patio. Whilst this individual was in the house, two hooded men burst in. The three men then tied the hands and feet of the two women, gagged them with tape and threw them to the floor. The owner stated that she was left on the floor of the lounge whilst her neighbour was in the kitchen and that her assailants threatened to kill her if she cried out.
The 50-year old daughter of the house, who is mentally disabled, returned from shopping a few minutes later and was also bound and gagged and left on the floor next to her mother.
It appears that the thieves were looking for cash but only found 25 euros which the owner had in a purse. After turning out several drawers, they then decided to take the victims' jewellery.
Before leaving the house the men untied the daughter who later helped to release her mother and the neighbour and then went to the Plaça Esplanada in search of a policeman. Various patrol cars arrived at the house, together with an ambulance which took the elderly neighbour, suffering from bumps and bruises, to the Mateu Orfila Hospital from where she was released a few hours later.
Initial police investigations indicate that the assailants could be people known to the victims as they were familiar with their habits. The householder's son usually visited his mother every day at around 1000 hrs. but, on that particular day, he was working in the morning, so the assailants could have known that the woman and her daughter would be alone in the house.
Javier Tejero, the State Government's Island Director, announced that one of the assailants had been identified and that they were following reliable leads. He rejected suggestions that the assault was related to recent robberies in the centre of Maó, believing it to be an isolated incident. Whilst stating that there was no call for panic he suggested that it was important for citizens to take some small security measures.