KIND neighbours have rallied round after heartless thieves stole £900 from an elderly couple who were saving up to buy a wheelchair.

Alf and Kathleen West, of Latimer Road, Chesham, are living in fear after brazen thieves walked into their home and stole cash from the bedroom while they were downstairs.

The pensioners had been saving to buy a wheelchair for 81-year-old Mr West who suffers from bronchitis and had recently broken his arm.

Shocked neighbours are raising money for the couple to make sure Mr West is able to get the much-needed wheelchair.

Mrs West, 77, said: "Every little noise I hear, I am frightened. I shall have to get over it in time.

"I saw a red box lying on my bed and realised the money had been taken. I just stood and cried."

She added: "The place was a mess and they had got into three rooms. If they had asked for it I would have given it to them."

Trevor Bignell, 44, their neighbour for nine years, got together with a friend to organise a raffle to raise cash for the couple following the theft on March 19.

He said: "They had been saving for months to get that amount of money, and on their pension they had done well.

"I have been going round all the businesses in the area and getting prizes for a raffle. I raised £125 for them and I got them to pull out the winning ticket.

"I wanted to organise the raffle to put a smile on their faces again, even if it is only for a little while.

"This is what being a part of the community is all about."

Mr Bignell added: "My next venture will be to restore their peace of mind and raise money to get them a burglar alarm. They tough it out but I get to see a different side of it."

He said the theft had left Mrs West terrified. She told him she was too scared to wash dishes at night on her own when her husband went upstairs to bed.

Police are appealing for witnesses. If you have information call PC Dave Bray on (01494) 465888