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Barnet woman collapses and dies following burglary at her home

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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 
  • Do you know Maureen? Please contact Darren.Boyle@mailonline.co.uk 

By Darren Boyle for MailOnline

Published: 04:39 EST, 6 December 2018 | Updated: 07:22 EST, 6 December 2018

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

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.  

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.

Forensic officers continued their investigations today at the home of Maureen Whale, the 77-year-old pensioner who collapsed and later died following a burglary at her home in Barnet
Forensic officers continued their investigations today at the home of Maureen Whale, the 77-year-old pensioner who collapsed and later died following a burglary at her home in Barnet

Forensic officers continued their investigations today at the home of Maureen Whale, the 77-year-old pensioner who collapsed and later died following a burglary at her home in Barnet

Police, pictured, searched for forensic evidence in an effort to trace the raiders   
Police, pictured, searched for forensic evidence in an effort to trace the raiders   

Police, pictured, searched for forensic evidence in an effort to trace the raiders   

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 investigation into Mrs Whale's death is being led by the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command 
The investigation into Mrs Whale's death is being led by the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command 

The investigation into Mrs Whale's death is being led by the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command 

Officers are today searching hedges on Bells Hill Barnet looking for evidence connected to Tuesday's burglary which happened at the time of Mrs Whale's collapse
Officers are today searching hedges on Bells Hill Barnet looking for evidence connected to Tuesday's burglary which happened at the time of Mrs Whale's collapse

Officers are today searching hedges on Bells Hill Barnet looking for evidence connected to Tuesday's burglary which happened at the time of Mrs Whale's collapse

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.

Forensic teams have also searched other buildings on Mrs Whale's street which were targeted by burglars on Tuesday night
Forensic teams have also searched other buildings on Mrs Whale's street which were targeted by burglars on Tuesday night

Forensic teams have also searched other buildings on Mrs Whale's street which were targeted by burglars on Tuesday night

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

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. 

More than half of all UK burglaries happen when someone is at home  

More than half of domestic burglaries in the UK happen when someone is at home, according to shocking new research. 

In a survey of 1,002 people who have been burgled, researchers questioned the impact the crime has had on the victim's family and well-being. 

Almost 87 per cent of victims said the crime had significantly affected their household with 17 per cent admitting they moved home as a result of the burglary. 

The research, conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of smart security company Verisure, found that 31 per cent of those hit said their home no longer felt the same. 

Horacio Perez, Operations Director of Verisure UK said: 'About half of the people surveyed have been burgled within the last year, and a surprising 49 per cent said that they had no major security deterrents installed in their homes when the incident occurred. 

'You can’t put a price on peace of mind when you consider that parents are 63 per cent more likely to feel unsafe after a burglary compared to those who don’t have children and that over 70 per cent of children have been negatively impacted emotionally by the burglary.' 

Barbara Oakley, operations manager of Victim Support said: 'Burglary not only robs victims of their physical possessions - it can also rob people of their sense of security at home, a place where everyone should feel safe. The impact can last not only for a few days, but months after the burglary has taken place. 

'Every year burglary affects over 435,000 households across England and Wales and, even if nothing is stolen, most people feel anxious and less secure in their home afterwards.

'Burglary affects the whole family. Victim Support can provide free, practical and emotional support to everyone affected, including children.' 

The research was conducted between November 9-16. 

Half of the 1,002 victims had children under the age of 18.  

  • Anyone who has been hit by burglary can contact Victim Support on a free 24/7 helpline 0808 16 89 111 or online.   
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