Hackney police have appealed to the public for help to find a prolific distraction burglar, Peter Kerrigan, who absconded from a mental health centre in Homerton earlier this year. A reward of up to £1,000 has been offered to anyone with information that may lead to his arrest.
In 2005, Kerrigan, then 17, was sentenced to eight years in jail after pleading guilty to more than 1,400 burglaries over a period of four years.
During his crime spree, Kerrigan targeted the elderly across London, posing as an officer or utility worker to gain trust and access to their homes and valuables.
His offences ended up covering nine police areas, and the scale of his crimes gave him the title as one of Britain’s most prolific burglars.
In 2009, Kerrigan was released halfway through his sentence but just a month later he started burgling again. He was apprehended shortly after and sentenced to six years in a secure unit at the John Howard Centre in 2010.
At the second sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Neil Thompson of the MPS Territorial Policing Crime Squad said: “He was a danger to the public and the sentence in placing him in a secure unit reflects this.”
Five years into his sentence, Kerrigan, now 28, was on escorted leave when he absconded the John Howard Centre in the afternoon of March 29 this year. He has not been seen since, and Hackney police are now appealing to the public for any information that can lead to his arrest.
“It has been eight months since Kerrigan absconded. He was jailed for committing crimes against the vulnerable and elderly and they still have to live with his actions. He needs to be returned to custody to serve the remainder of his prison sentence,” Detective Inspector Paul Ridley from Hackney CID said.
He further assured that all information received would be treated in “the strictest of confidence”.
Kerrigan is part of the Irish travelling community and is known to have links in Maidstone, Sussex, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire. However, he is also known to visit various areas of London including Hackney, Brent and Newham.
Officers advise that anyone with information should call 999 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
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