Attempted burglary at Ebsworth Street (near General Napier)



Hi All, please read and keep your deadlocks on your doors secure. My wife encountered an Attempted burglary today; this is her record of it.

Hi all, at 1:30PM today (17 Jan 2019) I decided to have an afternoon nap in the living room with curtains open as it was a nice day. 15 mins later I was awakened by the doorbell but decided to ignore it, usually do as get a lot of timewasters, as I wasn’t expecting someone nor a parcel. This person rung my doorbell again and then next doors (we share the front door but have our own front door within the hall way). I got up and to check but luckily, he didn’t see me and I don’t know why but I suddenly felt scared. Then he disappeared and then I heard him trying to unlock the front door, but was unsuccessful the first time. I got scared not to stand up in case he sees me so I lay on the sofa very still putting cushions on top of me. I heard him again shouting something like “Joyce come out! Joyce come out”! I thought no one named Joyce or something like that lives here. He then rung both doorbells again; this time he tried again to unlock the door. When I knew he was by the door, I run as quick as I can towards our own front door and by the time I reached my front door he had opened the main front door and was already IN our shared hallway. He attempted to open next doors door first but again was unsuccessful so he turned to open ours. I was standing behind my front door listening all time then I saw this fillet knife or a slim ATM looking metal sliding upwards and downwards trying to open our door till it basically opened the lock so I pushed the door shut before he got chance to open the door. My instincts were correct, he wasn’t the cleaner!!! I was so frightened as he now knew I was behind the door to the point that I didn’t think of double locking my door when it happened. During the time he was opening my door lock I had dialled 999 on loud speaker. When the police answered I shouted out the burglar “who’s that”, I have the Police on the phone, go away. Immediately he stopped what he was doing and ran out into the road up the street towards Garthorne Road. Scary to know this happens in broad daylight.
The Police came around to investigate and was aware of this person doing the rounds. He was a tall big built black man. He was wearing like a dark green winter coat with a white shopping bag similar to a JD sports carrier bag. The Police said these tools can open Yale locks which makes it very easy now; therefore, always lock your “deadlock/deadbolt” at all times on both front and your main doors. I just didn’t double lock ours because I was at home.
Contact details for Lewisham Police 0300 123 1212


Hope your wife is ok and not too traumatised by the experience. Thanks for sharing.


Thanks for sharing. This must have been extremely scary,… also live on this street and will be more vigilant now.


Hope you are both fine. How awful.


Wonder what the police thought of his calling out “Joyce, are you in there?” Is he looking for someone & could he be a possible threat to that woman’s life? It in no way exonerates the terrible fright he gave you & luckily enough calling the police on loudspeaker frightened him off. Take good care & thank you for letting us all know.


I suspect it’s a double tactic, firstly to establish if someone is in, and if they are and someone answers they can pretend they were looking for someone called Joyce to avoid suspicion, say oh sorry wrong address and leave. I very much doubt they were actually looking for anyone.


He would not ring the bell if he had the key.
Ordinary Yale locks are not very effective. There are tools that can open them.
I always put the bolt on my front door when I am in.
if someone rings your doorbell, it is not a good idea to ignore it. One of my friends did this and soon saw a hand come in through his bedroom window!


Exactly, that’s what the police said!!!


I can see where the police are coming from, but its the pesky cold callers that put me off. I know you can get stickers etc, saying don’t knock, but I’ve heard people say that they still do! But point taken, maybe I’ll start answering the door, take a look & shut it again!


I agree, yale locks are pretty useless, i opened mine with a library card when i shut myself out, also helped our neighbour get back in the same way when she did it too. Buy an automatic deadbolt from Ingersoll as they can’t be opened the same way (about £140, relatively easy to fit if you do a bit of diy). If you share the front door (half house) then you will need the communal version which cannot be double locked from outside (fire regulations).
Ringing the doorbell or shouting out is to check if anyone is in, burglars generally don’t want anyone at home when they break in.


Thanks Dave, will take a look at those locks



We were broken into when they slipped our yale lock a couple of years back. Apparently fairly common but we had no idea.

Used a great locksmith to change our locks after the event- Toni from Focus Locksmiths. 07477 689944 He fitted new locks which are British standard and should prevent all this sort of thing and very reasonably priced compared to others.

2 years on and the locks are still great, much more secure etc.


do you mean this kind of thing?


Is it, practically, any different to a latch and seperate deadbolt?


From the description, it sounds like you can turn the lock from the outside to ‘deadbolt’ it, which basically means the locking part cannot be moved without first unlocking. Put another way, when locked in this mode it cannot be ‘slippped’.

However, the smaller bit sticking out also detects when the door is closed and should prevent retraction of the main bolt, the ‘auto deadbolting’ from the description.

Looks reasonable if not a little pricey. But consider what are you going to attach it to? The lock is worthless if a swift kick to the door can break it off the door frame or the hinges are weak!


I agree that does seem pricey. We (from memory) got a much more robust looking lock than that plus a second bolt turn lock thing and I seem to remember it being about £250 including fitting from the guy above. Hope that helps.


Here’s a video of that cylinder being ‘picked’ and disassembled incase you are the curious type like me:

Seems pretty robust, and well made to me.


That’s the thing, but if you are putting it on a communal door (front door of half house) you must use sc73 which cannot be deadlocked from outside or someone may be locked in and unable to get out which could prove deadly in case of fire. If you put it on your own inner door then that wouldn’t matter. Cheapest I’ve found it is about £130 and fitted it myself. We also have a Chubb lock as well, hope this helps.