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Police hunt ‘despicable and cowardly’ distraction burglars who targeted woman, 87, in Woodberry Down Estate

PUBLISHED: 07:59 17 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:01 17 March 2017

An e-fit of a man wanted for questioning after the Woodberry Down Estate distraction burglary. Picture: Met Police

An e-fit of a man wanted for questioning after the Woodberry Down Estate distraction burglary. Picture: Met Police

Archant

Hackney detectives investigating a “despicable” distraction burglary of an 87-year-old woman in the Woodberry Down Estate have this morning released an e-fit of a suspect.

At about 3pm on February 20, the victim was home alone when two men came to her home. They claimed to be from a water company and needed to check her water pipes.

One of them remained in the kitchen, distracting her by running the taps. The other men was alone in another room. After several minutes he returned, claiming that the fault had been rectified. The two men then left.

Shortly after, the victim discovered her bedroom had been ransacked. Cash totalling £3,000 was stolen as well as all the jewellery from her jewellery box, valued at £2,000.

The distressed victim alerted her neighbour who immediately contacted police. A witness saw the two men fleeing the scene and has been able to compile an e-fit image of one of them.

The men have been described as white, in their 30s. The first was slim build with short blonde hair and the second as stocky build with dark hair. Both men were wearing high visibility jackets. The e-fit released is of the second man.

The lady has been left devastated by the raid, particularly at the loss of sentimental jewellery including her engagement ring from 1950 given to her by her late husband.

Several other items of jewellery stolen included a gold sovereign on a chain with the inscription “Elizabeth 1967”, a diamond solitaire ring with a gold band, three stone sapphire ring, thirty inch gold chain, ruby ring with a gold band and a woman’s wrist watch with a small face and gold strap.

Det Insp Paul Ridley, of Hackney Police, is leading the hunt for the suspects. He said: “We are appealing for information from anyone that recognises the image of the suspect on the e-fit to contact my investigation team as a priority. I also need to know whether you have been offered any items of the distinctive jewellery, perhaps in a professional capacity at a pawnbrokers or jewellers or noticed it in someone’s possession.

“This is a despicable and cowardly crime targeting an elderly widow and stealing her life possessions. If anyone has experienced something similar to this we would urge them to come forward.

“I can personally assure you that all information received will be treated in the strictest of confidence and immediately acted upon.”

Police also reminded people to verify the identity of anyone that comes to their door: if they are genuine then they will be able to provide identification. If in doubt do not let them in and call 999.

Anyone with information is urged to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If the information you supply to Crimestoppers leads to an arrest and charge, there is a potential £1,000 cash reward.

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