Burglars who targeted Hackney old people’s home are jailed

PUBLISHED: 13:35 09 June 2014 | UPDATED: 15:18 09 June 2014

Suspect one seen entering Ajex House

Suspect one seen entering Ajex House


Two women identified following a Gazette appeal, after they sneaked into Ajex House old people’s home and stole pensioners’ cash and credit cards, have been jailed.

Fortunata PaczkowskaFortunata Paczkowska

Two women identified following a Gazette appeal, after they sneaked into an old people’s home and stole vulnerable pensioners’ cash and credit cards, have been jailed.

The Hackney Gazette published CCTV images of Deborah Arthur and Fortunata Paczkowska as they made their way past the intercom system into Ajex House (Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women) care home – which provides sheltered accommodation in East Bank, Stamford Hill on Saturday January 26.

Once inside, they spoke to several of the home’s Jewish residents at tried to get into their flats.

A 79 year-old male resident allowed them into his flat after they convinced him to read a letter, and once inside they stole cash and credit cards.

Deborah ArthurDeborah Arthur

After both suspects’ images were circulated in the Gazette online and in the paper, an eagle-eyed reader from the uniformed orthodox Jewish street safety patrol, Shomrim, identified Paczkowska, and the women were arrested in February.

Shomrim, a 25-strong orthodox Jewish squad based in Stamford Hill, patrols the streets of Hackney and South Tottenham and reports suspicious incidents and crimes to police.

The pair pleaded guilty to artifice burglary, while Paczkowska was also charged with another distraction burglary at Ajex House on Saturday March 8, when she preyed on a 91-year old man.

They were sentenced last Thursday at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Arthur, 43, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to three and a half years’ imprisonment and Paczkowska, 30, of Bury Street, Edmonton Green, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for the two offences.

Det Con Anwen Clissold, from Hackney’s East area detections team, said: “These two women were clearly trying to target a number of residents at the location.

“I hope this case highlights the willingness of the public to help us identify offenders in Hackney.

“I would like to thank the Gazette and and Shomrim who identified the suspect for their help in bringing these two to justice.”

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