A 90 year old Luton woman woke to find a man in her bedroom before he ransacked her flat, a court heard.
David Kerrigan, also known as David Brown, 36, from Wellow Road, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, was jailed for seven years at Harrow Crown Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty to seven offences of stealing from the elderly across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Thames Valley.
All of the offences happened between June and July this year.
Two of these occurred at a sheltered housing complex in Tring on 6 July.
At around 9.50pm, Kerrigan entered the building and knocked at two flats, stating he was carrying out security checks following a spate of robberies and thefts. He asked the victims, aged 89 and 75, where their valuables were so he could check them, before making off with jewellery and cash.
Kerrigan also used a similar method to target three victims in the Thames Valley area in July, including an 86-year-old woman and an 84-year-old woman from Aylesbury and a 101-year-old woman from Thame.
On June 10, the Luton woman woke to find Kerrigan in her bedroom. After he left, she found her flat had been ransacked and cash and jewellery had been taken.
The burglary series was investigated by Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operation Manhunt* unit and a search for Kerrigan was launched. An appeal to trace him was also featured on BBC’s Crimewatch programme in September.
He was later arrested in Nottingham on 21 September.
Detective Constable Sam Casey, from Operation Manhunt, said: “David Kerrigan preyed on elderly, vulnerable women in their own homes and his despicable actions have had a devastating effect on his victims and their families.
“Sadly, one of his victims has since passed away and was never able to recover from her ordeal.
“I hope today’s sentence can at least provide some small comfort to everyone who has been affected by Kerrigan’s callous behaviour.
“The majority of the jewellery stolen from victims has not yet been recovered and I am appealing for any jewellers or pawn shops that may have been sold items by David Kerrigan to please get in touch on the non-emergency number 101.”