An investigation has been launched in Barnet after an elderly woman died following a burglary.

Police were called at 18:01hrs on Tuesday, 4 December 2018 to reports of a burglary at a residential address in Bells Hill, Barnet.

The victim, called police after two suspects had forced entry to the premises and had stolen property. While on the telephone to the police operator, the woman collapsed.

Police and London Ambulance Service attended. Emergency CPR was given by attending officers. The 77-year-old woman was taken to a north London hospital in a critical condition.

She 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.

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. Enquiries continue.

DCI Noel McHugh from the Homicide and Major Crime Command will now be leading on this investigation.

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.

“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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