Police in Hackney are appealing for information to trace one of Britain’s most prolific burglars after he absconded from the care of a mental health centre in Homerton.
Peter Kerrigan, who is from the Irish travelling community, is currently serving an 11-year sentence for artifice burglary.
He was on escorted leave from the John Howard Centre when he absconded in Narroway E8 at about 4:45pm on Sunday.
Police have asked members of the public to call 999 immediately if they have any information.
At the time of his initial arrest, he was found in Harlesden, and he is known to have links to Brent, north west London and Maidstone, Kent.
The 27-year-old shot to notoriety when he admitted to over 1,400 break-ins.
He was first convicted in 2005 after a spree of burglaries, since he was aged 13, during which he used distraction methods, targeting vulnerable pensioners while posing as police officers, or pretending to need the toilet or to borrow a pen and paper.
He would target the elderly, and in particular residential homes, gaining victims trust by dressing in a number of disguises.
After Kerrigan’s first conviction in 2005, Detective Sergeant Graeme Simpson said: “He is quite possibly one of, if not the, most prolific burglars in UK history – and he’s only 17.
“I have never dealt with anybody in my 22 years as a police officer who has admitted more offences.”
After a second conviction in 2010 Detective Chief Inspector Neil Thompson said: “Peter Kerrigan started offending again just a month after being released from his previous prison sentence, targeting the most vulnerable members of our society by tricking them as to his identity so they would trust him to enter their homes.
“He was a danger to the public and the sentence in placing him in a secure unit reflects this.”