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Warning issued after violent robbers attack Cricklewood residents in their homes

PUBLISHED: 11:38 04 March 2016 | UPDATED: 13:10 04 March 2016

Cllr Ahmad Shahzad OBE is warning residents to be vigilant (Pic: Adam Thomas)

Cllr Ahmad Shahzad OBE is warning residents to be vigilant (Pic: Adam Thomas)

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A councillor has issued a warning following a reported spate of robberies where burglars have forced their way into vulnerable residents’ homes in Cricklewood.

Robbery victim Essa Stoneburg, right, with Cllr Carol Shaw (Pic: Jonathan Goldberg) Robbery victim Essa Stoneburg, right, with Cllr Carol Shaw (Pic: Jonathan Goldberg)

Cllr Ahmad Shahzad OBE, Labour councillor for the Mapesbury ward, said residents have been left “terrified” and “shaken” after six separate incidents have been reported in the area.

In a number of the claimed cases the robbers barge into their victims’ homes before grabbing them by the throat and pinning them to the wall.

In the last six weeks the robbers have targeted residents living in the vicinity of Mora Road, Auckland Road, Ashford Road, Olive Road and Dicey Road, making off with cash, jewellery and tablet computers.

Most of the victims have been elderly Asian people but a mother with a young child was targeted in the last alleged incident.

Cllr Shahzad told the Times: “People in Mapesbury are very worried by these terrible incidents and they need reassurance. I am highlighting the fact that people need to be careful about opening their front doors.

“It’s a gang of people who are targeting them. Sometimes they knock and sometimes they wait until people open their front doors.

“In the latest incident they came while a lady was looking after her children while her husband was away.”

He is urging residents in Mapesbury to remain “vigilant” and to report any suspicious behaviour to police.

Cllr Shahzad was alerted to the issue after a number of concerned residents attended his monthly surgery in Howard Road last week asking for advice.

The news comes after robbers carried out similar attack on a six-stone frail pensioner less than a mile away.

Essay Stoneburg, was targeted by a cowardly pair as she entered the lobby in the block of flats where she lives in Willesden Lane, as she returned home from a shopping trip.

The 66-year-old widow, who suffers from incurable auto-immune disease Wegener Granulomatosis, was held by the throat while the other robber stole the contents of her purse containing £40 and her debit and credit card on February 9.

She said: “They grabbed me by the arm, dragged me into the stairwell and slammed me up against the wall. One of them grabbed me around the throat, pinning me back, I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t breathe.

“I had no idea if they were going to punch or stab me. I’m afraid now for others in the building, many of whom are too scared to go out.”

Inspector Mark Gallagher from Kilburn Police said he wasn’t able to comment on the number of reported incidents in Mapesbury ward but urged anyone who is a victim of crime to contact police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

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