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

Friday, March 27, 2015
The news means at least nine girls travelled to, or wanted to travel to, Syria after attending the coeducational academy [Image from Google StreetView]

The High Court has banned five teenage girls from travelling abroad after they expressed an interest in going to Syria – just weeks after three of their schoolmates left to join the Islamic State.

Friday, March 27, 2015
Mr Packman went missing from the Dennis Scott Unit of Edgware Community Hospital in 2012 [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

A young man who was receiving treatment at a mental health unit in Enfield has absconded, and police have warned the public not to approach Joshua Packman if they see him.

Friday, March 27, 2015
McDonagh has been jailed for four years [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

A conman has been jailed for locking a 90-year-old man in his basement in order to burgle his Fulham home.

Friday, March 27, 2015
Do you know this man? [Photograph from British Transport Police]

Police are hunting a thug who attacked a 17-year-old boy with half a brick on a train journey from Crystal Palace to East Dulwich - then snatched a man’s phone in West Norwood station.

Thursday, March 26, 2015
Mohammed Yasser Afzal

The man accused of murdering a minicab controller admitted in a typed letter found in his pocket that he killed him “because of his own crazy feelings”, a court heard today.

Thursday, March 26, 2015
Demetris Costa Hapeshi used the University's database to get a student's phone number  [Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]

A lecturer who discussed sex toys with his students - and even kissed one of them - is fit to carry on working, a tribunal has ruled.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...