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Kent Police say criminals are targetting the wrong people over missing money in West Kent.
Kenneth Crow, 59, and his wife Valerie, 55, live in a small rural farm bungalow in Golden Green near Tonbridge.
On Friday 5 December 2008 at around 9.30pm two masked men cut the telephone wires to the property, broke into the bungalow and threatened Mr and Mrs Crow. They tied them up and used an electric cattle prod against Mr Crow demanding he tell them where the money was buried. Neither Mr or Mrs Crow had any idea what the men– who called each other Gary and John Boy – were talking about.
Eventually when they managed to persuade the men they knew nothing they left, taking Kenneth Crow’s mobile phone. When they had gone Mr Crow managed to get to a neighbour’s house and raise the alarm. Despite extensive inquiries no suspects or motive for this aggravated burglary could be identified. Mr Crow was injured and received hospital treatment.
Mr and Mrs Crow were at home on 24 February 2009 when a car pulled onto their driveway. Someone got out of the vehicle and posted a letter through the letterbox. The letter it said it was posted by people connected to the burglary incident. It went on to say that they knew that the couple had money hidden and if they didn’t hand it over the police would be told about it. They were told to go to a telephone kiosk the following day when further instructions would be given.
Accompanied by a police officer Mr Crow went to the telephone kiosk where he received a call from another public phone in Icklesham, East Sussex. Mr Crow was told to return to the kiosk at 6pm which he did, this time when the phone rang he told the caller he was with police officers and the call ended abruptly. Inquiries in connection with these phone calls again did not identify any suspects.
Nothing further happened until the evening of Monday 18 January 2010 when, at the rear of the bungalow, Mrs Crow discovered a stake driven into the ground with a note attached to it. The threatening nature of this note, which makes reference to the previous incidents, is being treated as blackmail by officers. It was addressed to ‘Paul’. Kenneth and Valerie Crow have no knowledge of who this might be.
Detective Inspector Bert Short said:
"We have already carried out extensive inquiries into these incidents and will continue to do so, however, with Kenneth and Valerie’s permission we are making the case public to tell those responsible ‘you are targeting the wrong people’. We know from the investigation we’ve carried out and various searches we’ve done on their farmland that there is no money buried there.
"This series of events is taking its toll on the couple and if it continues it will be to the detriment of their health and wellbeing."
If you know anything about this you can call the police on 01732 379217 or Kent Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.