Murder squad detectives have launched an investigation after a 77-year-old woman collapsed and died following a burglary at her home.
Two unidentified suspects forced their way into the elderly woman's home in Barnet, north London yesterday evening.
The victim called police during the raid. During the emergency 999 call, the woman collapsed. She died in a north London hospital earlier today.
The incident happened at Bells Hills in Barnet at 6pm yesterday.
Police are awaiting the results of a post mortem to see if they can establish the cause of the woman's death.
Officers have secured the woman's home and have begun door-to-door enquiries to determine whether this crime can be linked to other burglaries in the area.
So far, no arrests have been made.
Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh of the Homicide and Major Crime Command is leading the investigation into the woman's death.
He said: 'Our focus now is catching the culprits behind this burglary which has contributed to the death of an elderly woman.
'We are doing everything we can to build a clear picture of this incident. This includes looking at three other break ins that have been reported in the nearby area. Work is ongoing to establish if they are linked. Three of the four properties targeted were empty when the burglaries took place.
'Both suspects involved are described as white males aged in their twenties and of thin build. They wore dark wooly hats and dark clothing.
'Any burglary is an awful and harrowing experience which can leave many feeling uncomfortable in their own homes. This burglary has ended with the worst possible consequences. A wonderful elderly lady has died. With that in mind, I want to reach out and make a direct appeal to anyone from the criminal fraternity who has information to contact us.
'You will know and discussions will be going on about who is involved and where any stolen property is, I need you to have the confidence to call police and let us know who is responsible.
'The public will see a significant police presence in the area. This will include house to house enquiries, CCTV gathering and forensic work to identify the individuals involved.'
DCI McHugh's colleague Chief Superintendnt Simon Rose from the North West Area added: 'These break ins and the subsequent death of an elderly woman will no doubt cause concern and alarm to those in the area.
'Locals can expect to see an increased police presence in the area. We are there to help them and support the local community but need their help also. If you live or were passing through Bells Hill flats in Barnet yesterday evening - did you see anything suspicious? Have you got information that could assist police. We need to hear from you urgently to catch those responsible.'
Anyone with information should contact police on 0208 785 8099 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.