A MAN has been arrested after an 88-year-old widower was battered to death by a "burglary gang" wearing fake coronavirus hazmat suits.
Dennis Kellond, 88, was discovered dead by his son Peter in Godstone, Surrey, on Monday after reports a gang was targeting pensioners while wearing fake coronanvirus hazmat suits.
Police today confirmed a 41-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder and was currently being quizzed in custody.
It comes as a post mortem today revealed Dennis died from a head injury.
East Surrey Chief Inspector Alan Sproston said: "The latest development in this investigation should go some way to reassuring the local community that we are doing everything we can to find out what has happened and to identify and bring to justice those responsible for this horrendous crime.
"Our thoughts remain with Mr Kellond's family at this time who are being supported by specialist officers."
Dennis had been lying dead in his home for more than 24 hours before his heartbroken son found his body.
Police launched a murder probe after the shocking lockdown "break-in" at his £730,000 home where he lived alone for ten years following the death of his wife Sylvia.
One neighbour confirmed the area has been targeted by burglars as recently as April 17 and said men were wearing "medical gowns" and "COVID-19 suits".
Reverend Peter O'Connell, from nearby St Nicholas Church, today paid tribute to "lovely chap" Dennis, saying: "You sort of expect that if absolutely terrible things happen in the world then it's not going to be anything here and especially not to someone who is 88 and no threat to anyone.
"His wife died a few years ago.
"It comes as a shock to the community and particularly at this time."
Mr O'Connell also described Dennis as "helpful" and "nice to talk to", adding: "He was still out and about coming to things like coffee mornings at 88, still involved in village life and will be missed.
"It's just a shock to have someone like that to have trouble come to him."
FAKE COVID SUITS
The alarm was raised after the pensioner's body was discovered by his son who had been called by another neighbour, worried that Dennis had not been seen for some time.
The victim’s son rushed around to the home and found his dad in his bedroom.
One neighbour said she had captured pictures of the suspected burglars on wildlife cameras as they passed through her garden on Good Friday.
She added: "There were two of them wearing white PPE overalls and white masks. It happened over Easter and has been reported to the police.
"They didn't steal anything from us but have taken items from others. They have stolen bikes, lawnmowers and power tools."
A woman, aged 80, who did not wish to be named, said: “Dennis’ neighbour told me that she noticed the door to the back of the house open on Sunday.
“Then, in the morning yesterday she saw the door was still open and in the same position and she became suspicious and phoned Dennis’ son who came around and found him. It was awful.
“He used to help with the preservation society and his wife, Sylvia, was the secretary of the gardening society, The Gardener’s Club, for quite some years
"Even though he was well into his 80s, he was really fit. He was a very helpful man.
“Apparently his son said he would not let somebody take things without a fight, so that gives you rather a nasty picture. Though, we have not been told anything about the state he was found in.”
A heartbroken friend said Dennis had been lying in his home for two days before his body was found.
Chief Inspector Alan Sproston said: “We are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry but would particularly like to appeal to anyone who was in the A25/ Bletchingley Road area of Godstone between Ivy Mill Lane and Knights Way between 10am and 3pm on Saturday, April 25 and who may have seen something suspicious, to come forward as a matter of urgency.
“The road is a well-travelled route which is also used by walkers and cyclists and we are also appealing to anyone who may have dashcam or video footage to get in touch with us as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information should contact Surrey Police on 101, quoting reference PR/P20095551.
Alternatively, contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Source: Read Full Article