Police have praised the actions of Southwark residents who helped police to arrest two men suspected of attacking an elderly woman while burgling her flat.
Police were called to the Peabody Trust flats in Marshalsea Rd, SE1 at 3.30pm on Friday. It appears two men in their late 20s had entered the flat of a woman in her late 70s. After pushing her over, the men were in the process of ransacking the flat when neighbours, hearing the commotion, disturbed them by banging on the door.
The two men jumped some 30 to 40 feet from the window of the flat, which is on the fourth floor of the block, landing on the pavement in Marshalsea Road. Although injured, both managed to get into their car and start to drive away. The neighbours had by this time made their way to the street, and pursued the suspects' vehicle on foot.
The driver lost control of the vehicle in a nearby street , and the car was in collision with a lamppost. Meanwhile, the driver of a JCB, seeing what was happening, used his vehicle to block the suspects in. Police and ambulance arrived, and the suspects , who were trapped in the car, were extricated and taken to a local hospital. One was taken by road ambulance. The other's injuries proved to be so serious that an air ambulance was called to transport him.
The men are now under arrest in hospital.
At this early stage it is thought their injuries resulted from the jump from the window, rather than the collision with the lamppost.
The elderly victim is being looked after by members of her family. She was not injured, though very shocked.
Chief Inspector Brian Cherek, of Southwark Borough Policed, said "I have nothing but praise for the public spiritedness of the victim's neighbours, and the JCB driver, whose actions led to the arrests of the suspects. This proves Southwark people care."