Two violent burglars are behind bars after two Met officers – retired, and on duty in response – teamed up to apprehend them.
David Hansen, 27 , of Lawes Way, Barking Riverside, Barking and Dagenham, and Sean Bello, 24 , of no fixed abode were sentenced to nine years; and seven and a half years respectively, after being found guilty of aggravated burglary at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, 14 February.
The court heard that at around 5:25pm on 11 August 2019, retired Met sergeant, Kenneth Alen – formerly based at Tower Hamlets – was at home in South Woodford when he noticed a suspect vehicle, a black Audi S-Line, repeatedly going the wrong way down a one way system.
The car parked up outside a residential address and two men got out and put on face coverings and hoodies.
They approached a house belonging to a woman who lived with her young family, and forced their way inside. Fortunately, they were not at home at the time of the incident.
By this time Mr Alen had called 999. He then approached the suspect vehicle and spotted a man sat in the driver’s seat. As he went to the driver’s door, the vehicle sped off. He then headed towards the front door, as the two suspects were making their way out, and attempted to stop them. He was punched several times in the process.
Response officers from the East Area Command Unit had arrived now at the scene. One of them, PC Natalia Kolodziej, chased the suspects into the kitchen, where she grappled with the two men while waiting for support from Mr Alen and her colleagues.
The men were detained with assistance from Mr Alen and PC Kolodziej’s colleagues. They were found to be in possession of flick knives, a large screw driver, and a large quantity of gold – later identified as having been stolen from the address.
Hansen and Bello were taken into custody, later charged, and remanded in custody.