Cops release CCTV images of muggers who robbed Whitechapel man of cash to pay for wife’s funeral

Police are hunting a couple who allegedly robbed a pensioner of cash intended to pay for his wife’s funeral.

The 77-year-old man had just withdrawn several thousand pounds form a bank in Whitechapel to pay for the funeral of his 72-year-old wife of 57 years who had died just days before.

Detectives believe that his callous robbers had spotted him in Barclays branch at the junction of Whitechapel Road and Sidney Street around 9.40am on Monday, June 27 before following him along Whitechapel Road, close to the Royal London Hospital.

As he turned away from the main road one of the robbers, dressed in a smart grey suit, put his arms around the pensioner’s neck and forced the money from his arms.

Investigating Officer Detective Constable Alex Saxby said: “This is a particularly despicable crime made even worse by the fact that the victim was already mourning the very recent death of his wife.

“Thankfully, due to financial assistance of family and friends, the victim was able to find a way to cover the cost of the funeral, but it is hard to imagine the impact this robbery must have had at such a difficult time.

“I can only appeal to the public for help so that we can prevent the same fate befalling another entirely innocent victim.”

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Officers have already analysed local CCTV covering the area and managed to track the pair calmly hailing a black cab and escaping the scene.

The cab driver remembers the man initially hailed a cab and then went to pick up the woman behind the hospital.

Police are now looking for a white man, in his late 20s or early 30s, 6ft tall, of slim build with dark-coloured hair, sleeked back with a visible parting. He wore a light grey suit with a light-coloured shirt.

His accomplice was also in her late 20s or early 30s, between 5ft 6in and 5ft 7in in height with blonde hair. She wore a white scoop-neck top. She was also wearing dark coloured knee length shorts

Officers are appealing for anyone with information to call the Incident Room at Bethnal Green Police Station on 020 8217 4162 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.