Woman, 93, dies of 'broken heart syndrome' after burglars ransack her Northampton house

Betty Munroe died on Wednesday. Credit: Northamptonshire Police

A 93-year-old woman whose house in Northampton was burgled by three men posing as police officers has died.

The men broke into Betty Munroe's house in Kettering Road North via the back door by using a pair of garden shears in early June.

They told her they were police officers and went on to to steal all of her jewellery, including her late husband’s watch, as well as her purse, bank cards, and a gold chain from around her neck.

They also ransacked her house as she watched on helplessly.

Following the incident, Betty was diagnosed with PTSD following repeated nightmares, trouble sleeping, being sick and being unable to stop shaking.

Betty spent time in hospital following the incident. Credit: Northamptonshire Police
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She spent the last couple of months in hospital with heart problems and was eventually diagnosed with Takotsubo Syndrome, a condition also known as 'broken heart syndrome'.

She passed away on Wednesday in her care home, surrounded by her family.

"This is one of the saddest cases I have come across during my career and a stark reminder of how deeply a burglary can affect a victim," Detective Inspector Simon Barnes of Northampton CID said.

“Betty was in good health before this incident but she deteriorated very quickly.

"I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to anyone who has any information about the burglary in June to please contact us, no matter how insignificant you think your information might be. If you want to do it anonymously, instead of calling us on 101, you can speak to Crimestoppers on 0800 55511."

Following her death, Betty's family released a statement saying that the burglars had robbed her of "her will to go on."

"The distressing circumstances of our lovely mum’s death have caused us so much sorrow," the statement read.

"Before the burglary she was happy and living independently in her home of 56 years.

"The violent actions of these callous individuals robbed her not only of precious possessions, but of her sense of security and peace and the will to go on.

"All the generations of our family who owe her so much are bereft at her death."