A thief who repeatedly stole from an elderly woman in St Ives was caught after officers recognised her distinctive “wobbly” walk.

Charlotte Lowe, 40, targeted the victim’s home in Victoria Terrace four times in two months and on the final occasion was fended off with a broom by the plucky pensioner.

She was caught on CCTV leaving the area with a distinctive “wobbly” gait and six days later was arrested by officers who were patrolling the area and recognised her unusual walk.

Lowe’s crimes began on 19 October when she stole the victim’s handbag from her home before using her bank cards to withdraw £250.

She returned to the woman’s property twice more on 8 November and 24 November, again stealing bank cards and withdrawing another £490.

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On 12 December she returned for a fourth time, but on this occasion the victim, who is in her 80s, noticed her trying to get in. The woman pushed her away with a broom and scratched her face, causing Lowe to flee.

Lowe, of Tern Drive, St Ives, admitted two counts of burglary.

On Friday (13 March) at Cambridge Crown Court she was jailed for two years and four months.

DC Lisa Bacon said: “These were callous crimes as Lowe repeatedly stole from a vulnerable lady in her own home, causing her to live in fear.

“The quick thinking actions of the officer who spotted Lowe and her unusual walk led directly to her arrest and subsequent prosecution.

“I would like to commend the victim for her bravery in fending Lowe off and I hope the conclusion of the court process will provide her with some comfort following a distressing few months.”