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Two burglars jailed for aggravated burglary after being caught by retired police sergeant

David Hansen was sentenced to nine years in prison 

Two violent burglars have been jailed after a retired Met officer caught them breaking into a residential property in South Woodford.

David Hansen, 27, of Lawes Way, Barking Riverside, and Sean Bello, 24, of no fixed abode, were sentenced to nine years; and seven and a half years respectively, after being found guilty of aggravated burglary at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday.

The incident, in which the pair were found with a large quantity of gold, identified as originating from a young families property occured on 11 August last year.

At around 5.25pm on Sunday, 11 August 2019, a retired Met sergeant, Kenneth Alen, formerly based at Tower Hamlets, was at home in South Woodford when he noticed a suspect vehicle, a black Audi S-Line, repeatedly going the wrong way down a one way system.

The car parked up outside a residential address and two men got out. They put on face coverings and hoodies.

The pair approached a house belonging to a woman who lived with her young family, and forced their way inside although fortunately, there was no one at home at the time of the incident.

By this time Mr Alen had called 999. The retired police man approached the suspect vehicle and spotted a man sat in the driver’s seat. As he went to the driver’s door, the vehicle sped off.

He then headed towards the front door, as the two suspects were making their way out, and attempted to stop them. Mr Alen was punched several times in the process.

Response officers from the East Area Command Unit had arrived now at the scene.

One of them, PC Natalia Kolodziej, chased the suspects into the kitchen, where she grappled with the two men while waiting for support from Mr Alen and her colleagues.

The men were detained with assistance from Mr Alen and PC Kolodziej’s colleagues.

They were found to be in possession of flick knives, a large screw driver, and a large quantity of gold stolen from the address.

Hansen and Bello were taken into custody, later charged, and remanded in custody.

DC Danny D’Arcy, of the East Area Command Unit, said: “A police officer is never off duty, and this is a prime example of that.”

“Hansen and Bello pose a significant risk of harm to the public and have been incarcerated for their crimes thanks to the valiant and selfless actions of Mr Alen and PC Kolodziej, who have teamed up to go above and beyond what is expected of them to apprehend armed and violent offenders in difficult circumstances.

“Also due to the diligent work of the officer in the case, DC McNamee of the East Area Gangs and Proactive Unit, they were charged with aggravated burglary and received the significant sentence.”

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