Murder investigation launched after man who challenged a suspected car thief died after a month in a coma

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Murder investigation launched after man who challenged a suspected car thief died after a month in a coma.

Police were called just before 3am on Sunday, 29 December 2019 to reports of an injured man on Peareswood Road in Erith.

Officers attended. The 51-year-old man was taken to Kings College Hospital with head injuries. He remained in a coma for the next month, and on Wednesday, 29 January died from his injuries.

Next of kin have been informed and the victim has been identified as Marc Allen, from Erith. A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.

Detectives believe that on the night of the incident, Mr Allen came out of his property to remonstrate with a man who was attempting to steal his car from his driveway. The suspect was inside the vehicle and it is understood that he deliberately drove towards the victim, hitting him and forcing him over the top of the car. The suspect then left the scene in the car, leaving Mr Allen lying in the driveway with head injuries.

On 31 December 2019, the car – a grey Mercedes GLA – was recovered from the E14 area. Officers believe that immediately after the incident, it was left in the vicinity of Bronze Age Way in Erith for a number of hours.

On Friday, 7 February, a 27-year-old man was arrested in E14 on suspicion of murder and burglary. He was taken into custody at an east London police station where he remains.

Detective Inspector Jason Fitzpatrick, Specialist Crime South, said: “This was a brutal and callous attack on an innocent man on his own doorstep. For simply defending his property, Mr Allen has paid the ultimate price, with his life; and my thoughts and sympathies are with his family at this time.

“Our enquiries are ongoing to try and establish how the suspect gained access to the keys for the vehicle and at this time I would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or subsequently saw the car being driven in the area to come forward.”