Police appeal for help from the public following the death of Barnet burglary victim

Detectives investigating the death of an elderly woman following a burglary at her home have released images of jewellery stolen in other linked break-ins that same night.

Thieves are believed to have targeted the home of 77-year-old Maureen Whale in Bells Hill, Barnet, shortly before 18:00hrs on Tuesday, 4 December after breaking into two more properties in the same road plus an address in Sampson Avenue, Barnet.

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “Today we have released images of jewellery stolen from properties in Bells Hill that night. We believe the same group of opportunist thieves targeted these addresses – as well as one in Sampson Avenue – before making their way into Miss Whale’s home.

“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.

“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.”

The other two burglaries in Bells Hill were reported to police at 18:20hrs that day; both occurred while the occupants were out from 07:30hrs that morning. Entry was via rear balcony doors.

A break-in at Sampson Avenue, around half a mile away, was reported at 18:45hrs. It had taken place sometime after 11:45hrs that day. Entry was via rear patio doors and £200 – £300 cash was stolen as well as around $900.

Police were called at 18:01hrs on Tuesday, 4 December 2018 to reports of a burglary at Miss Whale’s home.

She called police after two suspects gained entry to her home and stole property, including, it is believed, her bag.

While speaking on the telephone to a police operator Miss Whale, who lived alone, collapsed.

Police and London Ambulance Service attended. Emergency first aid was given by attending officers.

Miss Whale was taken to a north London hospital in a critical condition where she sadly died on the morning of Wednesday, 5 December.

Her next of kin have been informed. A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police incident room on 0208 785 8099 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can visit https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously or tweet @MetCC

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