TWO elderly residents were the victims in separate aggravated burglaries over the weekend, including a 74-year-old man who was struck in the side of the head with a jemmy bar after wrestling with his attacker.
Police believe the two break-ins - one on York Street about 8pm on Saturday, and the other on Doveton Street about 1.30am yesterday - were not related, but could not rule out a connection.
The victim of the Doveton Street burglary, who asked not to be named, told The Courier he was initially woken when a hooded man rang his door bell just after midnight, saying he was hiding from people and was in need of refuge - he was told to leave.
It is believed the same man then returned about half an hour later, this time wearing a balaclava and carrying a jemmy bar and carving knife.
“He just came straight through that door as if it wasn’t there,” the victim said.
“Three kicks he must have given it, it was like a bomb going off. I darted out of bed and we met at the bedroom door.”
He said the pair wrestled over the jemmy bar for two or three minutes before the offender pulled out a 30 centimetre carving knife.
“When he pulled the knife, that was the end of me, I’d run out of puff,” the victim said.
He said the burglar then spent about 30 minutes searching for money, ransacking the house in the process.
Then, just as he was leaving, the offender struck the victim in the side of the head with the jemmy bar.
The elderly man was taken to Ballarat Base Hospital by ambulance, where he spent more than six hours and received 17 stitches in his ear.
The offender is described as being medium height, slim build and is believed to be have been wearing a dark black coat and white runners at the time.
Detective Senior Constable Troy Wickham said an elderly woman in York Street was also robbed at home on Saturday night when a man entered through a rear window about 8pm.
He said the man demanded money from the woman, in her 70s, and made threats towards her.
She gave him a small amount of money before he fled on foot.
Detective Wickham said there was a concerning pattern of behaviour developing in Ballarat.
“It’s becoming more prevalent that people will knock on doors and ask to speak with people that don’t live there,” he said.
“If someone isn’t there, there’s potential they are casing the place.
“If people experience this type of behaviour, take note of descriptions and vehicle registration numbers and report it to police.”
Anyone with information regarding either crime should contact Ballarat Police Station on 5336 6000 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.