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  1. ITV Report

Search for boys on bikes as witnesses after woman's death in burglary

Detectives investigating the death of a pensioner after her flat was burgled have released CCTV images of two young boys on bikes who could hold the key to finding her killers.

Two boys riding bikes near Bells Hill, Barnet Credit: Met Police

Maureen Whale, 77, died at her home in Barnet from heart disease which the coroner said was brought on by stress. Police are treating her death as manslaughter.

Officers said the boys on bikes in the CCTV are not in any trouble but are "potentially really important witnesses".

An image of a missing small brown wallet, also released on Tuesday, shows it was used by Ms Whale earlier in the day while out shopping.

Small brown wallet that Maureen Whale was seen using during a shopping trip Credit: Met Police

We really need the public's help. So far few people have come forward. We are still keen to trace two young white lads, aged around 12 and 15, on bikes in the Bells Hill area at that time. They are thought to be local and approached and spoke to the first officers on the scene. They are potentially really important witnesses and I would urge them to get in touch. If you are nervous about contacting police, speak to a teacher, parent or trusted adult but you are not in any trouble.

– Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, Metropolitan Police

Officers will be in Barnet to hand out leaflets and speak to passers-by and drivers between 4.15pm and 6.15pm, to appeal for more witnesses and information.

In a joint statement, Ms Whale's nephew Lawrence and her niece Gina said:

It is heart-breaking that our Aunt Maureen is no longer with us; this last week has felt like a nightmare.

She should have been safe in the house that she lived in all her life and we now ask how this could of happened? The last thing she or anybody else would have ever expected, is for burglars to break in whilst she was at home.

This must have been a truly terrifying ordeal for her. All we think about now, is of how vulnerable and scared she must of felt.

– Family statement