Woman, 77, collapses and dies following burglary at her Barnet home

Scared to DEATH: Chilling moment ‘teenage burglars’ break into terrified 77-year-old pensioner’s home before she collapsed and died while dialling 999

  • Murder squad detectives have launched in investigation following the burglary
  • A 77-year-old woman collapsed Tuesday afternoon while on the phone to 999
  • Two suspects forced their way into the woman’s home in Barnet, north London 
  • Officers are are trying to link the raid to a string of other burglaries in the area 

This is the chilling moment a ‘teenage burglary gang’ smashed into a pensioner’s home before she died while reporting their intrusion to the police.  

Maureen Whale, 77, was alone at her home in Barnet, north London when the thugs broke into her property. 

Fearing for her safety, she desperately called the police but collapsed while on the phone.   

The thugs can be seen clambering over the fence to Ms Whale’s property. She collapsed and later died while calling the police as the gang raided her home

The thugs are seen walking away from the property after becoming spooked by a neighbour 

Video footage obtained by The Sun has now revealed the shock moment the group of thugs clambered over the fence to her home and entered her property. 

They are seen breaking in through a side door, before getting spooked and walking away from the home.  

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An investigation now underway after the elderly woman collapsed and died in terror while on the phone to police as the burglars broke into her home.  

Officers and paramedics resuscitated her but she died in hospital yesterday sparking a murder investigation.

A 77-year-old woman collapsed after two men broke into her home on Bells Hill in Barnet, north London on Tuesday afternoon. The woman died yesterday in hospital

A floral tribute has been left at the door of the woman’s home in north London 

Neighbours claimed four homes were targeted by a gang of burglars around the same time yesterday in High Barnet as Murder Squad detectives hunt two men in their 20s.

A neighbour said Mrs Whale was ‘frail’ and a ‘lovely lady’, who lived at the small house with pebbledashed walls.

She said: ‘Maureen was targeted because she was so frail, how could they do this to such a lovely lady.’

Another added: ‘That poor woman lived on her own – I didn’t know her but her next door neighbour used to tell me she was vulnerable.’

While another criticised police for allowing it to happen, saying: ‘They are too busy trying to catch people on their phones or arguing online.

‘We want to do something about it but we’d end up in trouble – these sickos went on a rampage.’  

White flowers had been left on the front doorstep of the house where a crime scene remains in place.

The house across the street has also been cordoned off by cops, with two officers keeping watch of the property.        

The woman was on the phone to police during the raid when she collapsed 

The incident happened at Bells Hills in Barnet at 6pm on Tuesday. 

Police are awaiting the results of a post mortem to see if they can establish the cause of the woman’s death. 

Officers have secured the woman’s home and have begun door-to-door enquiries to determine whether this crime can be linked to other burglaries in the area. 

So far, no arrests have been made.  

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh of the Homicide and Major Crime Command is leading the investigation into the woman’s death. 

He said: ‘Our focus now is catching the culprits behind this burglary which has contributed to the death of an elderly woman.

‘We are doing everything we can to build a clear picture of this incident. This includes looking at three other break ins that have been reported in the nearby area. Work is ongoing to establish if they are linked. Three of the four properties targeted were empty when the burglaries took place.

‘Both suspects involved are described as white males aged in their twenties and of thin build. They wore dark wooly hats and dark clothing.

‘Any burglary is an awful and harrowing experience which can leave many feeling uncomfortable in their own homes. This burglary has ended with the worst possible consequences. A wonderful elderly lady has died. With that in mind, I want to reach out and make a direct appeal to anyone from the criminal fraternity who has information to contact us.

The burglary comes less than a month after the fatal attack on WWII veteran Peter Gouldstone, 98, who was beaten by raiders who stole his 26-inch Panasonic television set 

Mr Gouldstone lost his life following the attack at his home in Bounds Green, pictured

‘You will know and discussions will be going on about who is involved and where any stolen property is, I need you to have the confidence to call police and let us know who is responsible.

‘The public will see a significant police presence in the area. This will include house to house enquiries, CCTV gathering and forensic work to identify the individuals involved.’

DCI McHugh’s colleague Chief Superintendnt Simon Rose from the North West Area added: ‘These break ins and the subsequent death of an elderly woman will no doubt cause concern and alarm to those in the area.

‘Locals can expect to see an increased police presence in the area. We are there to help them and support the local community but need their help also. If you live or were passing through Bells Hill flats in Barnet yesterday evening – did you see anything suspicious? Have you got information that could assist police. We need to hear from you urgently to catch those responsible.’ 

This burglary is a month after 98-year-old World War II veteran Peter Gouldstone was attacked at his home in Bounds Green, north east London. 

Raiders beat Mr Gouldstone on November 6 while stealing his 26-inch Panasonic television.

He died in the early hours of Friday, November 30. 

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