Neighbours’ human shield nets burglars
Residents come out in force to stop cornered thieves from escaping
NEIGHBOURS in Ruislip showed strength in numbers when they stepped out of their homes to prevent thieves from escaping.
Residents of Wallington Close, a cul-de-sac near Ruislip Common, were furious to find their cars and back gardens had been broken into last Wednesday.
The following night (Thursday October 22), they discovered two men with their hoods up acting suspiciously and realised the criminals had returned.
Residents say the pair were seen helping themselves to car batteries stored in a meter cupboard outside a neighbour’s home, so they formed a human shield to keep them there until the police arrived.
Stuart Malton, 44, returned home from his job at Heathrow Airport to find the incident unfolding at 10.30pm.
He said: “I was flagged down by a local resident who told me that the thieves had come back.
“By this time more people came out of their houses to see what was going on.
“I parked my car and walked round to where the residents had blocked off the alleyway to the thieves escape route to their car.”
Another neighbour, who had become suspicious when she saw the men loading up, used her car to block them in and called 999.
Mr Malton added: “It was brilliant – there were older citizens there as well in their dressing gowns and pyjamas and they were all telling these men what they thought of them and what it’s like to be a victim of crime.
“It was great the way everyone came together and stuck together.
“The crooks didn’t know what to do, I think they were just wishing for the police to hurry up.”
The suspects were detained for 20 minutes until the police arrived and took them away.
Mr Malton said he was proud to see how Wallington Close had stood up to “local crime” and hoped other would-be thieves will be deterred.
Keith Howley, 37, of Ashdown Road, Uxbridge and Martin Jee, 38, of Ashdown Road, Uxbridge, appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on Saturday October 24 charged with one count of burglary.
Both pleaded guilty and Howley was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work over the next 12 months, while Jee was bailed ahead of presentencing reports.
The Met said they are continuing to investigate burglaries and attempted burglaries in the area and have appealed for anyone with information to contact Hillingdon CID via 101.