Gang of Burglars Target Elderly in Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush

Gain access to homes by claiming to be doing work for the Council

Hammersmith distraction burglars
Image of four men police wish to speak to

CCTV images have been issued for a group of men that Hammersmith police wish to speak to in connection with a number of distraction burglaries targeting the elderly.

A gang of four men are believed to have carried out three burglaries in a 24 hour period. All three burglaries featured a man attending the property claiming to be from the council. The man convinced each victim to let them into their home to do ‘essential’ maintenance work to prevent a risk of flooding. While the victims were distracted, another person, or people, searched the property and stole valuables.

The first burglary took place on Du Cane Road, Shepherd’s Bush at about 12.50pm on Tuesday, 11 October. The couple, aged in their eighties, answered the door to a man saying he was from the council and needed to stop the water to the flat; so he went into kitchen. The couple then caught another man coming down their stairs. The spare room had been searched and £40 in cash was stolen.

The first man is described as being white, in his mid-twenties, of slim build and clean shaven with short black hair. He was wearing a blue shirt, dark trousers and possibly brown shoes.

Hammersmith Distraction burglary

Image of one of the men police wish to speak to

The second man is described as white, aged in his thirties, with short facial hair and rimless glasses. He was wearing a dark grey bomber jacket.

Image of one of the men police wish to speak to

The second burglary took place on Linacre Court, near Hammersmith Flyover between 3pm and 3.15pm on Tuesday, 11 October. Again, a couple in their eighties opened their door to a man saying he was from the council and he was worried that a flood would come through from upstairs.

He went into the kitchen with the husband and fiddled under the sink before asking the wife to come into the kitchen to listen. The victims did not see anyone else, but when the suspect left suddenly after 10 minutes, they realised a search had been carried out in a bedroom and £100 in cash and £80 in travellers cheques had been stolen. CCTV footage showed four men going into the block and leaving.

The man is described as aged in his late twenties to early thirties, of stocky build with short blond hair. He was wearing a faded blue striped shirt and beige trousers.

The third burglary took place on Riverside Gardens on the other side of the A4 to the previous incident at about 4.45pm on Thursday, 12 October. A couple, in their late seventies and early eighties, opened their door to a man who said he was from the council and was worried about flooding. The victims later realised the contents of a handbag had gone missing, including £530 in cash, three rings with diamonds and sapphires - with a combined value of more than £4,000 - and five gold bangles.

The man is described as white, of medium build, with wavy blond/brown hair. He was clean shaven and was wearing a navy blue/black anorak with a red lining and grey trousers.

Image of one of the men police wish to speak to

Detective Constable Davidson, from Hammersmith CID, said, "The borough has seen a number of distraction burglaries recently involving elderly residents. This is a despicable crime where people pose as workers from places such as utility companies or the council. They gain the trust of elderly residents and invite themselves in to carry out ‘essential maintenance work’ like fixing a leak from upstairs or burst pipes. One person distracts the occupants while others steal items from the house, often money and jewellery.

"I would ask that people be extra vigilant and check the ID of anyone who is unknown to them who comes to their door. Please keep an eye out for vulnerable persons within your community and help to keep them safe."

Anyone who recognises the people in the CCTV or anyone with information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

October 17, 2016