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Pensioner's death suspicious'

PUBLISHED: 11:04 27 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:30 12 August 2010

NEIGHBOURS of a dead pensioner claim there have been a spate of attempted break-ins on the road where he was found yesterday.

NEIGHBOURS of a dead pensioner claim there have been a spate of attempted break-ins on the road where he was found yesterday.

Police are treating the 86-year-old's death as suspicious after paramedics forced their way into the house in Widmore Road, Bromley at 10.45am and found him lying on the floor. They were alerted by a friend who had been knocking on his door.

Writer Brian Scovelle, of Widmore Road, said: "It's terrible. I had an intruder six weeks ago. They daubed some paint on the back fence which the police thought was very suspicious, like they had marked the house.

"It's becoming a dangerous area. I have just come back from South Africa and there's more crime in Bromley than in Cape Town. We have stepped up security but I'd say there have been eight to 10 incidents in the past year.

"I had quite a bit of trouble with some youths not long ago. They were taking drugs and making noise. I said to them, 'why don't you do something useful with your time?'

"Perhaps this man disturbed someone who had broken into his house."

Another neighbour, who lives a few doors down from where police discovered the body, said they found two sets of garden gates open which they normally close on the morning the pensioner was found.

Accountant Sue Simpson, 61, of Widmore Road, said: "It's awful. When it's an old man you feel awful that you didn't know him. He could have been there for weeks at this time of year when nobody is really out and about, but luckily they found him the same day.

"He had a beautiful garden. He had a female gardener who used to come on Thursdays."

A post mortem is due to take place this morning.

The incident is being investigated by Bromley police. Detective Inspector Mark Hyne is appealing for anyone who lives in the area or was there in the 12 hours before the body was found to contact them.

He said: "Widmore Road is a long residential road and a main bus route into Bromley town centre. Did you see or hear anything suspicious?"

Anyone with information should call Bromley police on 020 8284 8859 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to remain anonymous.

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