Brave dad chases off burglars in Chadwell Heath

PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:02 04 January 2017

Police were called to Park Avenue at 10pm last night. Picture: PA/Nick Ansell.

Police were called to Park Avenue at 10pm last night. Picture: PA/Nick Ansell.

PA Archive/PA Images

A mum-of-two has praised her courageous husband after he chased off a gang of burglars in the middle of the night.

The 53-year-old says she was left “petrified” when intruders forced their way into their home in Eric Road, Chadwell Heath, shortly before midnight on Tuesday last week.

“I shrieked, my husband started shouting: ‘What the hell are you doing here?’” recalled the victim, who was watching a film with Raj, 56, when a burglar kicked through their living room door.

The intruder, a young man in his early twenties, was scared by Raj’s shouts and ran off along with the rest of the gang who were waiting outside.

Raj’s wife believes his quick reactions could have saved both of them.

“It was really petrifying, I don’t know what I’d have done if I’d been alone,” the woman, who asked to remain anonymous as she was scared of reprisals, said.

“He made a lot of noise and intimidated them. Perhaps if he had cowered like me they would have felt more able to intimidate us.”

CCTV footage shows the young burglars, aged between 18 and 25 years old, drive past in a Ford Focus before parking elsewhere and walking back up to the house.

They then forced open the two front doors, the first with a crowbar, kicking the second by brute strength.

Raj says his brave actions were carried out “in shock”.

“It all happened so quickly, it was over in 50 seconds,” he explained.

“I was a bit shocked, I thought it was my son coming in. I’d never expected that kind of thing.”

Though Raj scared off the brazen gang, the couple have been left fearing for their safety.

“We’ve lived there for more than 30 years and it’s the first time this has happened,” said Raj’s wife, whose two grown-up children both live nearby.

“It’s made me more wary, I’m more scared now, you almost feel like you’re living in Fort Knox.

“I would never have locked myself in, now I don’t feel safe inside without locks on.

“The experience stays with you.”

Police are currently examining the CCTV footage as they continue to investigate. No arrests have yet been made. Anyone who has any information should call 101.

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