Highgate and Tottenham distraction burglars jailed for 10 years

16:57 18 May 2012

Patrick Collins

Patrick Collins

Archant

A pair of men from Highgate and another from Tottenahm have been jailed for more than 10 years for a spate of distraction burglaries targeting elderly and vulnerable people.

Four victims, including an 84-year-old woman living alone in Woodford, Essex, and a 51-year-old disabled woman in Greenwich, south London, were singled out by the trio, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

During the burglaries, carried out last November, 21-year old Jonathon McCarthy, of Bream Close, Tottenham Hale, claimed he was doing building work next door and was checking for water leaks.

His brother, Patrick Collins, 29, of Maurice Bishop Terrace in View Road, Highgate, acted as a ‘creeper’. He entered the properties and stole more than £500 cash from a 78-year-old man and jewellery from another victim. Collins’ father-in-law Francis Gavin, 44, who lived with Collins, was the getaway driver.

No property was stolen from the disabled woman in Greenwich, as she disturbed Collins in her home. The trio all pleaded guilty to burglary in court on Wednesday, May 16.

McCarthy was jailed for three years and four months, Gavin received two years six months, and Collins was given four years and three months.

The burglaries were linked by officers in Operation Griswold, run by the Metropolitan Police Service’s London Crime Squad, who identified the vehicles used in each incident.

Its Det Insp John Cracknell said: “I am really pleased with the convictions and sentences given to these men who deliberately targeted vulnerable people. Such was the amount of evidence gathered against them that they had no option but to plead guilty.

“Distraction burglars use very convincing reasons to get into your home. Always ask to see their identification and check it thoroughly, even if they’re wearing uniforms. Don’t let them in if you are not sure.

“We are committed to using our expertise and professionalism, to ensure we bring these criminals to justice.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Monday, March 2, 2015
Andrew Whitehead, 22, relieved himself onto the head of a London paramedic while she treated a patient in Shoreditch  (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

A Shoreditch man laughed as he exposed himself while urinating onto the head of a paramedic and the patient she was treating.

Monday, March 2, 2015
Police are searching for a woman who may have been raped on Caledonian Road Pic: Google

The victim of a serious sexual assault is being sought by police after she fled the scene of the attack in Holloway, north London.

Monday, March 2, 2015
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Police have launched a new investigation following reports of racist and abusive behaviour from a group of Chelsea fans on a train from London to Manchester following Sunday’s Capital One Cup victory over Tottenham.

Monday, March 2, 2015
A police officer in his thirties was stabbed in the shoulder and the head

A man has been charged with two counts of attempted murder after allegedly stabbing a police officer in the head and shoulder.

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Alan Cartwright

The teenager stabbed to death while riding his bike in Islington last night has been named as 15-year-old Alan Cartwright.

Saturday, February 28, 2015
A 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death on Caledonian Road Pic: Google

Teen managed to carry on riding before collapsing - murder investigation launched

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

And it’s not the first time this has happened.

Read more

We’re celebrating as Julia Stiles returns to our screens in Blue.

Read more

We caught up with 20 binge watchers on the other side. Most were muttering paraphrased quotes from Machiavelli.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

Take our quiz and find out!

A survey conducted last year revealed that Britain is the fourth sexiest country in the world, with the UK sex toy industry worth an estimated £250 million a year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

And it’s not the first time this has happened.

Sunderland have suspended Johnson pending the police investigation’s outcome.

A man and woman arrested on suspicion of kidnapping the teenager on Saturday have been further arrested.

Quirky London