David Kerrigan used a fake warrant card to gain his victims’ trust (Pictures: Met Police)
A burglar stole thousands of pounds from elderly people during lockdown by posing as a police officer to trick his way into their homes.
David Kerrigan, 38, targeted a dozen pensioners across London last year using a bogus warrant card to gain their trust.
He persuaded them to let him in by telling them two thieves had been arrested nearby and asking if he could have a look around to check if anything had been stolen.
Once inside, he would help himself to money, jewellery and bank cards – sometimes even asking where they kept their cash in a brazen bid to make stealing from them even easier.
His 12 victims, aged between 61 and 96, lost £4,000 as well as watches and other valuables.
Kerrigan also pocketed bank cards which he then used in nearby shops, always spending under £35 to avoid the contactless limit at the time.
None of the stolen property was ever recovered or returned to the victims.
Kerrigan was jailed for more than nine years (Picture: Met Police)
The serial burglar struck between April and August last year, with thefts occurring in Kensington, Chiswick, Gunnersbury, Brent Park and Acton in west London, as well as Golders Green and South Tottenham in north London and East Ham, Leyton, and Walthamstow in east London.
Kerrigan was eventually tracked down when police noticed a pattern in the bogus story being given to victims across the boroughs.
Detective Sergeant Keith Faris remembered a historic case from 2013, leading investigators to their breakthrough.
They were able to link a family member to Kerrigan, while CCTV from shops where the victims’ cards were used showed it was him using them.
Kerrigan later pleaded guilty to 12 counts of burglary and one of racially aggravated harassment at Snaresbrook Crown Court and was jailed for nine years and 10 months.
Kerrigan was tracked down after investigators noticed a pattern in the bogus stories being told to victims (Picture: Met Police)
Mr Faris said after the sentencing: ‘Kerrigan preyed upon the elderly and vulnerable and abused their trust by posing as a plain clothed police officer to walk away with their hard-earned money and valuables.’
He also warned residents who have doubts to use the new measures for identifying lone officers that were introduced in the wake of the killing of Sarah Everard by serving cop Wayne Couzens.
The officer went on: ‘I’d like to take this opportunity to remind the public to be vigilant against distraction burglars, who often prey on the elderly and vulnerable.
‘Distraction burglars pose as someone with fake ID or a uniform to gain your trust and access your home under a false pretence to steal.
‘They could say they need to check your meters, fix plumbing leaks, or virtually any official reason to enter your home – including posing as a police officer.
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‘Utilise your spyhole or door chain where possible and always remember to ask for an ID badge or paperwork.
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‘If you are in doubt, call the official number for the company they say they are from – do not call a number they give you – or contact the police.
‘If they say they are a police officer, ask to see their warrant card and ask for their name and warrant number.
‘If you are still in doubt, call the police on 101 to clarify what they are telling you is the truth or get the lone plain-clothed officer to use our new system, which they will be aware of, to video call a uniformed supervisor in one of our police operations rooms to provide verification and properly record the encounter.
‘Any genuine police officer there for legitimate reasons would not mind you doing this and would in fact encourage it.’
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