Burglars spray fire extinguishers in elderly couple’s faces during ‘despicable’ burglary in Hornchurch
PUBLISHED: 07:56 21 April 2020 | UPDATED: 07:56 21 April 2020
A gang of burglars sprayed fire extinguishers in the faces of an elderly couple during a “despicable” attack inside their home.
Three or four masked suspects got in through the back door of the victims’ property in Parkstone Avenue, Hornchurch, at about 8.30pm to 9pm on Saturday, April 18.
They sprayed the couple in their faces before the man was stabbed in the hand with a screwdriver.
The woman was shoved to the floor and forced to get behind a chair as the thugs demanded to know where the money was kept.
The suspects, who were all wearing gloves, eventually made off with a small amount of cash. While the woman wasn’t injured, the man was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Detectives are appealing for information and witnesses. They describe the suspects as possibly speaking with eastern European accents. They kept their faces hidden throughout the couple’s ordeal. There have been no arrests yet.
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Det Cons Ciara Arthur said: “It is despicable that these callous individuals attacked an elderly couple in their home while the vast majority of Londoners are either working hard to keep each other safe or simply isolating to protect themselves and others.”
She vowed that she and her colleagues will do everything possible to catch the criminals.
“I just ask everyone local to Hornchurch to think carefully about whether you saw anything suspicious on Saturday evening.
“The streets are quiet and any suspicious behaviour would have been all the more obvious. Did you see an unusual car in a residential area, a group of men hurrying or maybe gloves or some type of face covering discarded? If so, please share your information with police.
“In addition, with so few people out and about, it is all the more likely that dashcam footage or domestic security cameras may have captured images of the three or four suspects.
“Please do check any footage from the area between around 8.30pm and 9.00pm.
“I would also appeal to anyone aware of associates whom they suspect of being involved in this attack: perhaps somebody local who acquired some cash on Saturday evening.”
Call 101 quoting reference CAD 6717/18apr or to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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