British couple attacked and robbed in their home.jpg

British couple attacked and robbed in their home

By ELOISE WALTON [email protected]

A British couple in their 70s were violently robbed in their home in Penina, near Portimão by three masked men on the night of September 22.

Robert Pickles, 75, and his wife Frieda, 72, were at home when at around 10.30pm three masked men dressed in black with gloves broke in through a bedroom window.

At the time of the robbery, Frieda was already in bed, while her husband was watching television in the living room.

Following the incident, Robert Pickles, a retired lawyer, told Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã (CM): “They handcuffed me and tied up my feet.

“Then they took me to the bedroom, where my wife had also already been handcuffed. They hit me on the head and also hit my wife several times on the face.”

The robbers demanded money, gold and bank cards, threatening them in order to obtain the pin codes.

The robbers stole around 1,700 euros in cash, jewellery, iPods and mobile telephones, before leaving the property in the couple’s silver English-plated Mercedes.

Isolated house

At around 1am, the couple were found by their son-in-law, who also lives at the house.

He told the Algarve Resident: “When I got home after work, I found my father-in-law tied up in my bedroom. His hands had been tied so tightly that it had cut off the circulation to his arms.

“My mother-in-law had managed to get out of the house to get help but she had fallen over and I found her almost hypothermic lying near the swimming pool in the garden.”

Nobody heard Frieda because the house is isolated and the neighbours were not at home.

“We have had this house for 22 years and it is the first time we have had a problem,” said the son-in-law, who asked not to be named.

“It was lucky that my wife and two children were also not in the house as they had travelled to England just a few days before.”

The incident was reported to the Polícia Judiciária, who, at the time the Algarve Resident went to press, were still investigating the crime.

The president of the national tourism board, Luís Patrão, told CM that these incidents are isolated cases, which should not compromise or taint the image of a region or a country.

“What is important is to investigate and resolve each case,” he said.

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