Police investigating the death of a pensioner following a burglary at her flat believe her home was targeted by a “group of opportunist thieves”.
Maureen Whale collapsed while on the phone to a police operator after she called 999, and had to be given CPR by officers called to the break-in at around 6pm on Tuesday in Bells Hill, Barnet, north east London.
The 77-year-old, who lived alone, was taken to hospital in a critical condition and died on Wednesday morning.
Police think thieves targeted her address after breaking into two more properties in the same road, as well as another in Sampson Avenue.
Jewellery and foreign currency were stolen during the linked break-ins, police said.
“We believe the same group of opportunist thieves targeted these addresses … before making their way into Miss Whale’s home,” said Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, of the Metropolitan Police’s Homicide and Major Crime Command.
“I would appeal to any pawnbrokers or indeed any ‘handlers’ of stolen goods to consider the awful circumstances of what has happened to a wonderful elderly lady and do the right thing and come forward with any information.
“Around £30 worth of Turkish lira and about £100 of euros were also stolen from those homes in Bells Hill, as well as American dollars from the Sampson Avenue address – if you work in a bureau de change and someone has asked you to change those foreign currencies into sterling in the last few days, we also want to hear from you.”
It is believed Whale’s bag was stolen after two people gained entry to her home.