December 6 2013 Latest news:
by Safira Ali, Senior reporter
Friday, August 16, 2013
A crook targeting homes in Romford during a burglary spree has taken valuables from householders – and snatched pints of milk from their fridges.
The prowler has been raiding fridges as well as homes during break-ins over the past fortnight.
Houses in Pettits Lane, Mashiters Walk, Havering Drive and Parkside Avenue have been targeted and homeowners say that, in addition to valuables being stolen, the burglar has helped himself to goods from their fridges.
One couple, aged 76 and 77, said they felt devastated when they discovered they had been targeted.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said sentimental jewellery had been taken, including items from her mother, mother-in-law and her work colleagues when she retired, as well as pieces bought for her wedding.
She said: “It’s taken years to collect them. They are valuable to us because we have had them for so long and many were from when we got married 53 years ago.
“We won’t be able to get any others like them and, though we are going through the insurance, I can’t ever replace what they have stolen from us.”
The patio doors and fridge had been smeared with black marks, believed to have been left by the burgler’s gloves. This caused her to check in the fridge where she discovered the milk was missing.
She said: “They took a pint from there; I remember buying it earlier that day. I can only assume they went in the fridge as people sometimes store their valuables in the fridge or freezer assuming they are out of the way.”
She added: “A week later the police called me to say that there had been a spate of similar burglaries where the milk had also been stolen!”
Pettits Safer Neighbourhoods team said they had sent leaflets to residents to make them aware of the break-ins.
Sue Connelly, Romford MP Andrew Rosindell’s secretary, said she has had calls this week about the milk thefts.
Mr Rosindell said: “Certainly from the markings it sounds like a cat burglar.”
He added burglaries increase during the summer when people are on holiday and homes are more vulnerable when residents are not around.
“People do need to be aware and alerted that this is happening and to be wary of anything going on near them.”