Police hunt housekeeper following £500,000 theft from widow’s home in St John’s Wood

Ma Rowena Laysa Manuel is being hunted by police

Ma Rowena Laysa Manuel is being hunted by police - Credit: Archant

Police are hunting for the housekeeper of a grieving widow following the theft of £500,000 worth of jewellery and coins from her home in St John’s Wood.

The stolen earrings

The stolen earrings - Credit: Archant

Detectives would like to speak to Ma Rowena Laysa Manuel in connection with the disappearance of the valuables which belonged to the woman in her 60s who had recently lost her husband.

The 46-year-old, who also goes by the name of Nina, was employed as a carer to look after the victim’s terminally-ill husband.

When he died she was kept by the widow as a housekeeper.

The victim had left her home on April 15 to run some errands and when she returned her £250,000 butterfly diamond pendant, which was made by her late father, £50,000 solitaire diamond engagement ring and a pair of two carat solitaire diamond earrings were missing.

The stolen ring

The stolen ring - Credit: Archant


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Her husband’s £200,000 gold and silver coin collection had also been stolen.

Manuel, who is Filipino, is around 5ft 4ins tall and wears a hearing aid.

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She has links in Suffolk, Brentwood, and is known to frequent, Birmingham, Slough, Reading, Worchester, as well as London areas Kensington and Chelsea, Kilburn, Hendon and Westminster.

Detectives have recovered some of the stolen coins while others are believed to have been sold in Birmingham.

A 44-year-old woman was arrested in May in connection with the investigation and has been bailed to return to a police station next month.

DC Nikki Hubbard, of Westminster’s Serious Crime Unit, said: “The victim is totally devastated by the loss. She is still grieving for her husband and the ring was something that felt close to her husband.

“The effect on the victim has been tremendous; she has lost her independence and is in constant fear.”

Anyone who knows of Manuel’s whereabouts or who has any information should call Westminster’s Serious Crime Unit on 07909 706 295 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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