Heroes take on bedroom knifeman as hot weather brings a spate of frightening Hackney burglaries

burglar / thief/ ronbber ladder © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
Inviting in a robber? You might have forgotten you left a window open; a burglar won’t

* Update 181217: Claudius Leroy Francis was found guilty in connection with offences described below and others, and sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court to eight years’ jail. Convicts who behave well are likely to serve half their terms

* UPDATE 190717: a man has been arrested in connection with the burglaries

* UPDATE 060717: Police rushed to a house at the SE end of Cecilia Road while a helicopter shone a spotlight when another burglary was attempted at about 10pm, next door to the 30 June-robbed basement (update below). The suspect escaped

* UPDATE 300617: Another Cecilia Road house was burgled this morning via a basement rear door and severely robbed. Nobody was hurt



COMETH THE HOUR, cometh the hero, as someone sort of said. No, this is not about the horrendous events that have lately shocked Londoners but about non-headlining local crimes that met with bravery.

So let us hail the Hackneyites who took on a burglar known to carry a knife. and who police believe illegally entered five homes over several nights.

In Brooke Road, Stoke Newington, a woman in her fifties was woken by her dog’s barking: a man was in her living room. She confronted him and he produced a knife.

The victim’s son awoke and came to protect his mother. The knifeman fled through a window, escaping with  a chunky silver ring. Thanks to her son, the woman was safe.

Worthy of praise, too, is the middle-aged Dalston man who was woken by the kind of sounds nobody wants to hear early in the morning.

He looked out of the window of his Cecilia Road home to see a ladder resting against the wall, and a man in the garden. On being challenged, the interloper denied any wrongdoing but then departed, empty-handed.

The householder, wearing a dressing gown, ran after him but after a while decided it would be wiser to phone the police, so returned to his house for his mobile.

He later told Loving Dalston: “I was surprised by how unbothered the guy seemed. It was strange: perhaps he was on drugs.

“I must say, the police arrived very quickly”. But the intruder had vanished into the night.

Nobody was hurt, nor was anything stolen. The ladder had been taken from a nearby house undergoing renovation.

burglaries/burglar / thief/ ronbber: window lock allows window to be left part-open © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
The kind of lock that can allow a casement window to be partly open yet secure

The Met would like to talk to a medium-built, 175cm (5ft 9in.)-190cm tall, light-skinned man, possibly with long, black unkempt hair. The police believe he may have used a black bicycle to travel to and from the scenes of his crimes.

Fortunately, no one was physically injured in any of the offences.

Detective Inspector Paul Ridley, of Hackney CID, said in a press release that the incidents were “particularly striking” because the robber demonstrated “no restraint”, despite the risk of being disturbed at times of day not favoured by many burglars.

DI Ridley added: “I am wholly concerned by [the man’s] behaviour, given his possession of a knife and creeping into bedrooms.” Hot weather had led to a rise in such offences. People should keep their windows closed.

Hamish Scott 230617

* Anyone who believes they have useful information should contact Hackney CID  by phoning 101, tweeting @MetCC or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Quote Operation Globe.

* Backstory: Down this Dalston street police must go; Dalston’s legendary cat burglar 

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