Appeal for £45K of gold jewellery stolen from Cricklewood after thieves ‘grabbed man, 84, by the throat’
PUBLISHED: 15:46 16 March 2016 | UPDATED: 16:01 16 March 2016
The victims of a vicious robbery in Cricklewood where “thugs” reportedly grabbed an elderly man by the throat are appealing for help in tracing more than £45,000 of precious gold jewellery snatched during the raid.
The victim, who does not wish to be named, claims his wife’s gold pendants, necklaces and bangles were taken after three men stormed into his house and held his 84-year-old father against a wall by his throat on February 17, leaving him frightened and confused.
The man returned home to find his frail father-who suffers from dementia- shaken after the assailants quickly made off with the jewellery and cash after ransacking the cupboard they were kept in.
He described how the “thugs” kept his father in his room while two others headed straight to the master bedroom to take jewellery given to his wife as a wedding present 17 years ago.
He said: “They went into my dad’s bedroom while he was on his own and grabbed him by the throat and kept him there with the lights off.
“They went straight into my room and they must have had metal detectors because they knew exactly where to look for it. They weren’t interested in laptops or electricals. It looks like they’re targeting Asian houses round here for gold jewellery.”
Describing how the incident had left his wife “traumatized”, he said: “There’s not a day or night goes past that she doesn’t think about it- it stops your life and she is desperate to have her jewellery back. We just want to notify other people to take precautions.”
PC Chris Finnigan is asking anyone with information relating to the theft or the stolen jewellery to contact Wembley CID on 0208 733 3737 quoting crime reference: 1904085/16.
The appeal to help recover the jewellery comes after reports of six separate incidents in the past three months where burglars have attempted to gain access to houses while residents are sleeping or by barging through the front door before stealing jewellery, valuables and in one case a family car which was later found written off.
Cllr Ahmad Shahzad, Labour councillor for Mapesbury ward said: “Many people who have been robbed and broken into, particularly Asian families have come to me asking for information on what is going on and they are not feeling safe-some have told me they are “scared to death”.
Cllr Shahzad said he had also advised his own family not to open the door to strangers, and is encouraging residents to be vigilant.
However, councillors and police officers have sought to reassure Cricklewood residents that action is being taken over the reported incidents.
Cllr James Denselow, Brent Council lead member for stronger communities said burglary rates were down by a third in Brent since 2012 and added: “Recently Cllr Shahzad has had issues of concern raised by residents. A police investigation has revealed 4 disconnected incidents 3.5 months with a variety of suspects.
“Brent police will continue to work to reduce burglary alongside the Council and residents. They are rolling out crime prevention kits and will continue to monitor the situation closely.”