My Celebrity Life

24 Hours In Police Custody: Criminal poses as Amazon delivery driver to assault 3 victims at home in ‘brutal’ attack

24 Hours In Police Custody returns tonight with a terrifying case that sees a man pose as an Amazon delivery driver to gain access to a home and violently attack the people inside.

The criminal, identified as Sandel Hornea, steals a handful of possessions and sparks an international manhunt spanning across Romania and Switzerland before his eventual capture.

‘It was a brutal attack,’ Detective Inspector Tom Hamm of Bedfordshire’s Criminal Investigation Team exclusively tells Metro.co.uk. ‘It was violence for the sake of violence, and it wasn’t needed.’

Reacting to the footage of the harrowing ordeal in a preview clip shared with us, he says: ‘I’m keeping a completely open mind as to the reasons why that home was targeted. Is it because they have money? Is it because they’re an easy target? It could be an ongoing feud, business dispute, whether legal or criminal. Was he confronted and panicked and punched them out?’

Initial police inquiries into the 2019 attack in Luton drew a blank, which prompted the victims’ family member to post images of the assault on Facebook. He also offered a reward of £20,000. The post quickly went viral, and this had a devastating impact on the police investigation.

‘I’ve got no complaints towards him [the family member], he thought he was doing it for the right reasons,’ DI Hamm tells us. ‘He wanted to get the images out there to get this guy captured because obviously his family members had been assaulted quite seriously in their own homes. I do empathise with him, but I would warn people to let us please do our job first.’

My Celebrity Life –
Sandel Hornea is captured on CCTV leaving the house after the attack (Picture: Channel 4)

Explaining the implications of people sharing footage and evidence, he says: ‘It can drive the offenders underground and because when things go viral, they are ultimately also going to see it and if they see themselves, they are going to go underground and hide. That makes our job even harder to locate them. I’d ask them to not share the footage with the wider public domain.’

DI Hamm did implore that this is an extremely rare case and that people should not ‘live in fear’.

‘We asked our intelligent officers to contact other forces to see whether or not there were any similar cases or M.Os,’ he recalls. ‘It drew a blank in terms of using the Amazon delivery driver M.O and anyone matching his description. There has been in the past been previous occasions where people have pretended to be someone they’re not in order to gain entry properties. It’s very, very rare but it is not unique.

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DI Tom Hamm says pictures of the attack going viral impacted the case (Picture: Channel 4)

Sharing advice to anyone who might be worried, he suggested people ‘be alert and be mindful’.

‘If you’re expecting deliveries because you’ve purchased from Amazon or other companies then the likelihood is the person is there legitimately,’ he says. ‘If someone’s knocking on your door and he’s telling you he’s got a parcel for you, then if you’ve got a chain on your door maybe put the chain on.

‘Maybe speak to them through the windows. With the pandemic, courier companies aren’t getting signatures, they’re just knocking on the doors and leaving parcels on the doorsteps. You could just communicate through the window and say leave it on my doorstep.’

He stresses: ‘I don’t want people to live in fear because the next person who knocks on the door is there to attack them. That was a very, very rare crime that happened.’

24 Hours In Police Custody airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 4.


Credit: Original article published here.

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