‘Yid­dish’ men at­tack and robpen­sioner

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY LEON SY­MONS

TWOYIDDISH-SPEAKING­me­n­armed with a ham­mer were be­ing hunted by po­lice in North-East Lon­don this week af­ter they at­tacked and robbed an el­derly money-changer in his home.

The men were dressed in tra­di­tional Charedi garb and the at­tack has left the com­mu­nity shocked.

De­tec­tive Con­sta­ble Joan Martin, of Hack­ney Rob­bery Squad, said: “This was a vi­cious at­tack on an el­derly gen­tle­man and we are keen to en­sure th­ese in­di­vid­u­als are caught as soon as pos­si­ble. ”

Po­lice said the men knocked on the 77-year-old money-changer’s door at 8.30 on the morn­ing of May 14. The Rus­sian-born pen­sioner, who spoke very lit­tle English, was alone in the house and asked what they wanted. One of the men replied, in what was later de­scribed by po­lice as “bro­ken” Yid­dish, that he wanted to change dol­lars into pounds.

Hav­ing heard the man speak­ing Yid­dish, the money-changer opened his front door and the men fol­lowed him into the house.

One man took out a wad of dol­lar bills as if to change them, but then pro­duced the ham­mer.

He de­manded to know where the safe was and hit the pen­sioner on the head with the ham­mer. The man said he had no safe, so the men tied him and searched the house. Even­tu­ally they found some money, thought to be around £240, in a drawer and then left.

The pen­sioner man­aged to free him­self a short time later but did not raise the alarm.

His son-in-law called at lunchtime and con­tacted po­lice af­ter he dis­cov­ered what had hap­pened. The money-changer was taken to Homer­ton Hospi­tal, where he had a num­ber of stitches to his head.

The men were de­scribed as about 6ft tall, ap­prox­i­mately 40 and wear­ing black jack­ets, black shoes and white shirts. The sus­pect who spoke was wear­ing a black felt hat, while the sec­ond, silent, sus­pect, was de­scribed by one wit­ness as wear­ing a skull cap but by an­other as wear­ing a black felt hat. One of the two was de­scribed as “un­shaven”.

Moshe Fried­lan­der, a com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the Hack­ney po­lice In­de­pen­dent Ad­vi­sory Group, said: “I would like to stress again that if peo­ple are deal­ing in cur­rency or with money, they must check the cre­den­tials of vis­i­tors be­fore they let them in.”

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion should call Det Con Martin in the rob­bery squad at Shored­itch po­lice sta­tion on 0207 275 3635 or Crimestop­pers anony­mously on 0800 555 111.

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