Family of dementia-stricken gran find burglar but police do NOTHING

Family of dementia-stricken grandmother, 80, use tracker to find burglar – yet police do NOTHING 

  • Rita Taylor died a few weeks after the break in at her home in Eltham, London
  • Her family tracked the knife-wielding burglar by her dementia-tracking GPS 
  • Despite providing police with the password to the device, nothing was done

Rita Taylor, 80, a dementia sufferer who died after a break-in at her home in Eltham, South East London

A knifeman who terrorised an Alzheimer’s sufferer after breaking into her home was tracked by GPS by the woman’s family for 12 hours – but police did nothing.

Relatives of Rita Taylor, 80 – who died a few weeks after the burglary – kept tabs on the man’s movements after he stole her handbag containing a dementia tracking device.

They watched as the monitor moved away from her home into a neighbouring county to an address overnight.

However, despite providing police with the password to the device, the family say officers passed up on the chance to catch the suspect red-handed. Mrs Taylor was left terrified after the man broke into her home on November 29, stole her bag and ripped rings off her fingers.

She collapsed three days later and was treated in hospital but became a virtual recluse after she was released, and she died less than a month later.

The great-grandmother’s daughter Lorayne Ahmet, 56, said she believed the trauma of the break-in killed her mother, and the police had effectively allowed a killer to escape. She added: ‘The burglary brought on her death. She was not the same afterwards. As a family we did everything we could to keep her safe and we feel let down.

‘We handed them everything they needed to catch this man, and they did nothing.’


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The burglar broke into Mrs Taylor’s home in Eltham, south-east London, and ransacked it before confronting her in her bedroom.

He snatched her bag and forced her to hand over her jewellery, including her mother’s wedding ring. The man fled as Mrs Taylor’s carer arrived, shoving the woman out of his way before running to a waiting black Vauxhall Corsa. Witnesses said he was armed with a screwdriver and a large knife.

After the carer raised the alarm the family told the police about her tracker device. Relatives watched it as it moved north across London into Essex, at one point stopping at an Indian takeaway.

A burglar broke into Mrs Taylor’s home in Eltham, south-east London, and ransacked it before confronting her in her bedroom (file image) 

It halted overnight outside an address in Dagenham before it stopped working. Mrs Taylor’s son-in-law Greg Diamond called 999, in the hope police would swoop on the house.

But they heard nothing further and three days later Mrs Taylor suffered a collapse, thought to have been caused by a mini stroke. After being released from hospital she stayed with relatives but had a suspected stroke on Christmas Eve and died. Mrs Ahmet said: ‘Mum didn’t need to die this way. She had dementia but she was an active woman who loved seeing her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She lost interest in all that afterwards and wouldn’t go out.

‘The police just gave us a crime number. As far as we know they did nothing with the information we gave them. Nothing they do now will bring Mum back, but we just want justice for her.’

A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed they were aware of the tracking device but had not gone to the Dagenham address.

This week, after the Daily Mail contacted police on the family’s behalf, officers were sent to meet with them and update them on the case. Mrs Ahmet said they were ‘very apologetic’ and admitted mistakes had been made and information not passed on correctly.

A man has since been arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary and released on bail pending further investigation.

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