Police have arrested an elderly homeowner on suspicion of murder after a suspected armed burglar was stabbed to death during a break-in at a house in London.
According to the Evening Standard, the 78-year-old and his wife were asleep in bed at their south London home when the husband was awoken by noises and went to find two men in the middle of a suspected break-in.
Confronted by one of the suspected robbers, who was wielding a screwdriver, the pensioner was forced into his kitchen where police say a struggle took place in which the homeowner suffered bruising to his arms amongst injuries which are not life-threatening.
Scotland Yard said the 37-year-old intruder was rushed to hospital after sustaining a single stab wound to his chest, and that he died shortly after 3am.
Officers were summoned to reports of a burglary in process at what the Mirror reported is described as a “very quiet” road in Hither Green at around 12.45am.
UK: Huge Rise in Knifepoint Rapes, Fatal Stabbings While Police Focus on ‘Hate Crime’ https://t.co/94QbsNMvXR
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A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The 78-year-old resident had found two males inside his address.
“One suspect went upstairs while the homeowner was forced into the kitchen by the second suspect, armed with a screwdriver.”
The pensioner was held in custody in south London on Wednesday, having initially been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm while officers investigated the incident before he was later re-arrested on suspicion of murder.
Scotland Yard confirmed that officers have informed the dead man’s next of kin, but he has not yet been officially identified. The second suspect — said to also have been armed — is still on the run, according to police, who said they are trying to track him down after he fled the crime scene before officers arrived.
London has seen a large rise in the number of burglaries over the past year alongside massive increases in other crimes such as knife and gun violence, rape and homicide as the capital under mayor Sadiq Khan recently overtook New York City as one of the most dangerous cities in the developed world.
While the number of arrests has been in sharp decline across England and Wales since 2008, even as crime has soared, focus on so-called hate crime has contributed towards a policing “crisis” in which just one burglary in ten results in a suspect being identified.