Police have released the heartbreaking final emergency call a woman made after two men broke into her home.
According to Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom, 77-year-old Maureen Whale from North London passed away just a day after the two intruders entered her home in December. Police said the shock of the burglary caused Whale to suffer a heart attack that ultimately ended her life. The call was the last time Whale ever spoke.
The suspects, along with a third man who acted as a lookout, have not yet been found and police are appealing for information to identify the men. In addition to releasing video footage of the suspects, the frantic final emergency call Whale made has been released to the public. Police said she had just a small amount of money in her purse when she was targeted by the thieves.
Harrowing 999 call released of 77 yr old Maureen Whale, who sadly died following a burglary at her home in #Barnet last December.
Her niece, Gina said "Our aunt was a fiercely independent woman who should have been safe in the home. No-one deserves to die in this way" pic.twitter.com/3EoMDFJ0bw
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 14, 2019
“I’ve just been burgled,” Whale told the emergency operator in the recording. “Yes, two young men have just entered the house and walked off with my handbag.”
The 77-year-old was so shaken that she could hardly talk, prompting an ambulance to also be sent out to her home.
As the operator attempted to send out an ambulance, Whale went quiet.
“Maureen? Hello Maureen?” the operator said. There was no reply.
Meanwhile, Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh said in a clip that the recording was difficult and heartbreaking to listen to.
“That’s Maureen’s last words,” he said. “And it’s difficult for the operator. The operator’s done an amazing job trying to reassure Maureen and the officers turn up but she puts in a call to police.
“She’s really clear that two burglars have entered her house, they’ve stolen her bag, she gives a description of them and I want people to listen to that and in particular, those who believe they know the identities or have received confessions from the individuals, use that as your decision on whether you’re going to make this call, because that could be your mum or your gran.”
Police need your help identifying these three men who broke into the house of 77year old Maureen Whale, the shock of which caused her to have a fatal heart attack just minutes after the break in. If you have any info, please call police on 0208 785 8099 #CrimewatchRoadshowLive pic.twitter.com/1PCIi1wUX7
— MPSOnTheStreet (@MPSonTheStreet) March 14, 2019
Whale’s handbag was later found in a hedge on the outskirts of a nearby park.
Her niece Gina shared a message through the police in an attempt to find those responsible for her death.
“Our aunt was a fiercely independent woman who should have been safe in the home” she said. “No-one deserves to die in this way”.
Police are now offering a £20,000 (AU$37,000) reward for information that leads to an arrest or prosecution.
It’s not the first time the elderly have been targeted in sickening attacks. An 80-year-old woman was targeted in December when she was using an ATM in Melbourne.
Disturbing footage showed a man talking on a mobile phone and lurking behind the woman as she withdrew cash from the machine. As she withdrew her cash, the man ran up behind her, stole the money and ran off. Thankfully, the woman wasn’t injured during the incident.