Pregnant South Woodford mum left terrified by masked thieves

The southbound side of South Woodford. Picture: Steve Poston

The southbound side of South Woodford. Picture: Steve Poston - Credit: Archant

A seven-months pregnant mother has revealed the terrifying ordeal as she helplessly watched masked burglars trying to break into her home.

Mariah Shahid, 32, of Primrose Road, South Woodford was in the kitchen on Friday evening when she saw a hand knock on the glass window. A man in a grey hoodie and red mask had gained entry to her garden, which is only accessed through her flat.

Mariah, who relies on crutches due to complications with her pregnancy, told the Recorder: “My husband said ‘if I don’t come back call 999’ and then ran out to chase them.

“He was panicking, I was panicking, my five year-old daughter began to cry.” Mariah’s husband found four men in their garden.

The gang, one who reportedly wore a “terrifying” red mask, tried to break into three homes within an hour on Friday night, police believe.

Officers were also called to burglaries in Grenville Gardens and Broadmead Road, all around 6.30pm.

Since the ordeal Mariah has felt on edge.

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“Every time I see a squirrel or cat in the garden I have to check outside,” she said .

“I am terrified, I go everywhere with my husband when I can as I struggle to walk and I am waddling everywhere – I don’t have much of an escape plan.

“It might be a bit of fun for the men doing this but they don’t realise the impact they are having on people’s lives.”

Mariah believes the men knew the area as they had good knowledge of back roads when they managed to escape.

“My first thoughts were are they carrying weapons, you can’t help but think the worst.

“So many of these incidents are happening in the roads nearby and the police haven’t caught anyone.

“We don’t feel safe during the day. We have lived her for five years and never felt like this.”

Her home is near the Tube station and Mariah said the “brazen” attack occurred at a time when there were lots of people walking around.

The family have now installed CCTV and are reinforcing their gates.

No arrests have been made and inquiries continue.

Anyone with information should call Redbridge CID on 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.