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Two people have been jailed after tricking their way into a pensioner’s home and stealing from her.

Margaret Connors, 31, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court to an ‘artifice burglary’ this week.She was sentenced to 2 and a half years imprisonment for two counts of burglary, having changed her plea.

Her accomplice, Michael Maughan, 32, also of no fixed address, had earlier pleaded guilty and was sentenced in May, when he also received 2 and a half years imprisonment for the two counts of burglary.

At midnight on 2nd January this year, Maughan and Connors knocked on the door of an 83 year old woman living in sheltered accommodation in Acton.

They said they were from the gas board and were there to fix a water leak and pushed their way through the door. Connors guarded the victim while Maughan searched the flat. The victim activated a panic alarm and the suspects left. They stole a handbag containing a small amount of money and some personal items. On their way out they stole from a shopping bag on wheels from a second victim - a 79 year old women - in the entrance hall of Darton Court.

However the pair were recognised by Ealing police officers who examined the CCTV footage.

PC Jim Barry, the investigating officer, said: “These two callous thieves tricked their way into premises of this vulnerable old lady before blatantly rifling through her personal effects for money and valuables, terrifying her in the process. We are pleased with the sentences issued and hope this brings some solace the victims, and sends a strong message out to criminals that you will be caught and brought to justice.”

If you suspect you have been a victim, or you know of a victim of this type of crime, please call 020 8246 9168 - the Safer Homes team at Ealing Police.

 September 18th , 2004