Islington burglar only targeted vulnerable women over 60

William Beggs

William Beggs - Credit: WILLIAM

A man who showed “no remorse whatsoever” after he burgled the homes of 14 vulnerable and elderly women in Islington in a six-month spree has been jailed for 10 years.

William Beggs, 45, of Cavendish Street, followed the women, all over 60, home from shops and offered to help them with their shopping or to open the door for them. Some of his victims were in their 90s and considerably frail.

On other occasions Mr Beggs asked to borrow a pen and paper to leave a note for a neighbour. While their backs were turned, he would then steal their handbags in what is known as a “distraction burglary”, hoping to find money.

In total, he burgled 19 women between July and December 2014, in the Islington and City areas, before he was arrested by Met Police officers after a joint operation with City of London Police.

Officers were finally able to catch the serial burglar after pinpointing CCTV evidence of Mr Beggs targeting his victims. Mobile phone records proved his mobile phone was in the immediate vicinity of a number of the burglaries.


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Detective Constable Marcus Johnson, who led the investigation, said: “These offences were committed over a long period of time and caused an enormous amount of stress, discomfort and inconvenience to those targeted, who should have felt safe and secure in their own homes.

He is clearly a danger, continuing to develop his signature of asking for a pen and paper to leave a note: however, I believe it was this trait that finally led to his being captured. I am entirely satisfied that the sentence handed down goes to show that Police will leave no stone unturned in pursuing those who commit this type of burglary.”

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Mr Beggs denied all the offences, but had been convicted in the past of a number of similar crimes. He had only been released from prison in March 2014 after serving part of a six year sentence.

He declined to give evidence on his behalf at his trial at Blackfriars Crown Court.

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