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Police have launched an investigation in Barnet after a 77-year-old woman died following a burglary.

The victim called for help after two suspects forced their way into her home in Bells Hill on Tuesday evening, before stealing items of property.

While on the telephone to the police operator, the woman collapsed.

 

The woman was taken to a hospital in North London in a critical condition, after emergency CPR was given at the scene. She died yesterday morning.

A crime scene is in place and enquiries are underway to establish if the burglary is linked to other similar offences in the area. At this early stage there have been no arrests.

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh from the Homicide and Major Crime Command is leading the investigation: "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.

"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."

Chief Superintendent Simon Rose from North West Area said: “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.”

:: Anyone with information should contact police on 0208 785 8099 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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