prolific burglar from west London has been jailed after targeting elderly and vulnerable residents – including one burglary in which an elderly man was stabbed with a screwdriver.
“Violent” Luke Connors, 23, of Attewood Road, Northolt, carried out a spate of burglaries over a two-month period between August 31 and October 28 last year.
On Sunday, September 4, a man in his 70s was on his way home from a pub in Ickenham when he spotted men in masks looking suspicious.
Unbeknown to him, the group followed him as he drove his car home.
Before he could enter his property, he was punched and stabbed with a screwdriver, and the gang stole the dashcam from his car.
A local resident from Ickenham Neighbourhood Watch described the attack on the elderly man as “a dreadful assault” which “sent shockwaves through our community”.
Residents provided police with CCTV footage, which helped officers establish the vehicle that had been used by the criminals.
A joint investigation by Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad, local officers in north and west London, and other police forces in Hertfordshire and Thames Valley linked the incident with a series of 10 other burglaries.
The total value of items stolen was in the region of £200,000 of cash, jewellery and high value items.
Detectives reviewed hours of CCTV and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) data, they carried out surveillance and on November 1, they arrested Connors in Paddington Green.
He was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and robbery.
Two further men were also arrested, charged and await trial.
Following a two-week trial at Isleworth Crown Court, Connors was found guilty of both charges on Thursday.
He was on Monday sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.
Detective Superintendent Simon Moring, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “Luke Connors committed violent burglaries in north and west London.
“By listening and working with residents we were able to investigate, detain and convict him for his heinous offences.”
A member of Ickenham Neighbourhood Watch praised the police investigation, saying: “This was a fantastic investigation by the Met’s Flying Squad and the North West/West Area investigation team who really engaged with our community.
“Residents were understandably very nervous, afraid even of giving evidence against the perpetrators. However, we all realise that unless our communities step forward and support our police then the criminals have won and we descend into a state of lawlessness.
“That simply cannot be allowed to happen. A brilliant investigation, well done.”