DETECTIVES from the Metropolitan Police are appealing for witnesses and information after two violent burglaries over two nights on the borough where the suspects have targeted Asians for gold and other valuables.
In one incident, the suspects targeted and assaulted an elderly couple in their own home.
That incident occurred in Montagu Road last Tuesday (21) at approximately 9.30pm.
An elderly couple, a 64-year old woman and her 81-year old husband, were sitting in their living room when they heard the glass of their back door being smashed.
Five men then stormed into the room armed with items, including a shovel and a screwdriver.
The men made demands for gold and money – two held the victims in the living room while the others ransacked the rest of the house in their search for valuables.
During the incident, the elderly man was struck several times with the shovel while the woman was sprayed in the face with cleaning fluid.
After grabbing some gold jewellery and cash, the suspects fled the address in a vehicle, believed to be a Mercedes car.
Both the occupants suffer from poor health and were left traumatised by their ordeal. They were taken to a hospital as a precaution.
The suspects are described as white males who spoke with Eastern European accents. They all had their faces covered and wore all black.
After the police attended to the crime, another came to light.
At around 8.50pm that evening in Bromley Road, residents inside a property heard bangs on their door. As they approached the source of sound, they heard men outside discussing about ‘kicking the door down’.
The occupants managed to scare the suspects off but on inspecting their door it was found to have been damaged by tools.
The suspects were described as having their faces covered.
The following evening, on Wednesday (22), at around 9pm, several residents at Beckenham Gardens heard a loud noise.
As they investigated further, they could see that the front door of a neighbouring address, whose residents were not at home, was off its hinges and several men were running from the house.
One of the men was carrying a suitcase and a safe and others were armed with a large pole and a screwdriver.
The residents bravely confronted the men and during the ensuing altercation one of the neighbours was struck with the pole while the suitcase was thrown at another neighbour’s head.
Fortunately, neither was hurt but the suspects were able to escape.
The suspects were described as three males wearing dark clothing. At least one of the males was white. They were wearing balaclavas and gloves. They made off in a silver or white vehicle which had a tinted window.
Detective Inspector Paul Ridley from North Area CID is leading the investigation. He said: “To target elderly individuals in their own home and subjecting them to this level of fear and intimidation is absolutely despicable. The use of weapons, particularly striking a frail and elderly male with a shovel, was wholly unnecessary and the incident has terrified the victims.
“The fact that these incidents have occurred in consecutive nights, at around the same time and only 10 minutes away from each other with assailants carrying weapons is strikingly similar and this why I believe they are linked.”