Revealed: Jewellery stolen by teenage burglary gang in spree which saw frail ‘lovely lady’, 77, collapse and die in abject terror while making 999 call
- Police say burglars raided a series of properties in north London on Tuesday
- CCTV showed them running in and out of the home of Maureen Whale, 77
- Ms Whale phoned 999 to report the raid but collapsed and later died in hospital
Detectives have released images of the jewellery stolen by a burglary gang whose raids led to the death of a 77-year-old woman.
Maureen Whale collapsed while on the phone to a police operator when she called 999 after the break-in in Barnet, north-east London on Tuesday.
The 77-year-old, who lived alone, was taken to hospital in a critical condition and died on Wednesday morning.
Police think thieves targeted her address after breaking into two more properties in the same road, as well as another in a neighbouring street.
Maureen Whale, 77, collapsed and died after three thieves broke into her house on Tuesday. Police have released images of some of the jewellery stolen during a series of raids that night
These rings were also stolen during a series of raids in the area on Tuesday evening
This Tiffany necklace was also taken. Police are asking local pawnbrokers to be on the look out
Jewellery and foreign currency were stolen during the linked break-ins, police said.
‘We believe the same group of opportunist thieves targeted these addresses … before making their way into Miss Whale’s home,’ said Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, of the Metropolitan Police’s Homicide and Major Crime Command.
‘I would appeal to any pawnbrokers or indeed any ‘handlers’ of stolen goods to consider the awful circumstances of what has happened to a wonderful elderly lady and do the right thing and come forward with any information.
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‘Around £30 worth of Turkish lira and about £100 of euros were also stolen from those homes in Bells Hill as well as American dollars from the Sampson Avenue address – if you work in a bureau de change and someone has asked you to change those foreign currencies into sterling in the last few days we also want to hear from you.’
It is believed Miss Whale’s bag was stolen after two people gained entry to her home.
The force previously released images of three suspects, all described as white men in their 20s.
Police have released grainy pictures of three suspects thought to be behind the raids
Mrs Whale collapsed while on a 999 call after a gang of three thugs forced their way into her £400,000 detached house
One was wearing a black zip-up gilet, a white or light-coloured long-sleeved top underneath and a dark coloured woolly or beanie hat.
The second wore a hooded long-sleeved top with two dark patches on the chest and shoulder, and the top of the back, along with dark trousers and light-coloured trainers.
And the third, who acted as a look-out, wore a dark long-sleeved hooded top or coat, with the hood up, and may also have had a baseball cap underneath.
He also wore light-coloured jogging style bottoms and dark trainers.
Mr McHugh asked for those who live in Bells Hill from Newlands Place to Lexington Way to check their front gardens and hedges to see if any property has been disposed of.
CCTV from a neighbour’s house showed the burglars entering the pensioner’s home
Police forensics officers were seen working at the property yesterday afternoon
He also urged two boys, aged around 12 and 15, who spoke to the first officers on the scene to get in touch.
‘They are potentially really important witnesses and I would urge them to get in touch,’ he said.
‘If you are nervous about contacting police, speak to a teacher, parent or trusted adult, but you are not in any trouble.’
Anyone with information can contact police on 020 8785 8099, tweet @MetCC, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online.
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