A gang of three men from south London who pretended to be police officers during a violent burglary have been jailed.
The group tied the victim’s hands together after beating her in front of her children and stole a “beloved” family pet.
A woman in her 30s was approached by two men as she was leaving her flat in Putney on November 29, 2021.
She was with her three young children when the duo with “police” on their hats approached her in Arabella Drive.
They were carrying friction-lock batons and one of the men also had a fake ID.
They claimed to be attending the home in order to conduct a drug search and when she challenged them, she was grabbed by the throat and forced back into the flat.
The victim was punched and stamped on before they tied her hands together with cable ties.
They searched the home, stealing cash, Christmas gifts and a two-month-old female American bulldog puppy with a “blue Merle” fur pattern.
Police say that despite efforts, the dog remains missing and they are still appealing for information.
Anyone who recognises the image or who may have been offered an American Bulldog puppy for sale, should contact police quoting 1837/29NOV21.
Police looked at CCTV footage and carried out enquiries before discovering that three men left Ludlow’s address an hour prior to the burglary.
All three suspects had arranged meetings in the days leading up to the burglary, including one day when the group travelled to Putney.
Officers believe this was either a failed first attempt to commit the burglary or that they were looking to identify points of entry and cameras at the address.
The group were arrested and their home addresses were searched before they were later charged with aggravated burglary.
Michael Cloherty, 58, of Chipperfield Road, Orpington was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Simon Ludlow, 50, of London Road, Mitcham was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Michael Cook, 54, of Northborough Road, Streatham was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
They were all found guilty of aggravated burglary following a seven-day trial at Kingston Crown Court on Wednesday, 9 November.
Detective Inspector Andy Durham from Specialist Crime South said: “These three individuals have pretended to be police officers to gain entry, before using extreme violence to rob a mother in her family home.
“They have caused her injuries before stealing her children’s presents and their very young beloved puppy.
“Tackling violent offenders is a priority for the Met and I am very proud with the brave support of the victim we were able to bring these violent offenders to justice and achieve sentences commensurate to their offending.”
Detective Inspector Dan Whitten from South West Command Unit, added: “This offence involved extensive planning, violence and a disregard for the impact on the vulnerable children present.
“The offenders clearly posed a wider risk to the public.
“I am pleased they are no longer in a position to cause such considerable harm and hope their convictions serve to reassure the local community.
“I’d like to commend the victim for displaying fortitude despite what must have been a terrifying ordeal and the investigating officers for their tenacity in effectively pursuing this investigation to its rightful conclusion.”
A spokesperson for Metropolitan Police said: “Unfortunately, there have been occasions where criminals have posed as police officers, both in person and on the phone.
“If you are unsure about whether the person you're dealing with is a genuine police officer – stop – and call us on 101 to check their identity. In an emergency always call 999.”
Story from: https://www.wandsworthguardian.co.uk/ne ... -burglary/