Man, 68, dies after being punched to ground by car thief in London

Evaldas Simanaitis had been shouting  at two males on Matcham Road, Leytonstone (Google Maps)
Evaldas Simanaitis had been shouting at two males on Matcham Road, Leytonstone (Google Maps)

A pensioner has died after being punched in the face by a suspected car thief and collapsing outside his east London home.

Evaldas Simanaitis, 68, was only discovered seriously injured when police arrested one of the suspects four miles away and recovered his stolen car key.

Detectives reviewing CCTV footage from the local area established Mr Simanaitis had been shouting at two males.

One struck him in the face, causing him to fall to the ground at 4am on October 16.

Forty-five minutes later, police unaware of the earlier incident were called to reports of two males breaking into cars on Boundary Lane, Newham.

Officers attended and arrested a 25-year-old man which led them to Matcham Road, Leytonstone.

Mr Simanaitis was taken by London Ambulance Service to hospital in a critical condition.

Despite the efforts of medical staff, sadly he died in the early hours of Thursday.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “His family have been informed and he has been named as Evaldas Simanaitis. A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.”

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Whellam, investigating for the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Although an arrest was quickly made as officers responded to the call from Boundary Lane, we still need to establish exactly what happened earlier that night.

“Did you see or hear a disturbance in the early hours of Monday, October 16?

“Please can you check any CCTV cameras, or footage captured on your doorbell? We need your help to identify the second person who was there.”

Chief Superintendent Simon Crick, from the North East Basic Command Unit, added: “We know that this incident will have created a lot of distress in the area.

“A man has lost his life, and I would like to assure you that we are working with our colleagues and doing everything we can to establish what happened.

“I would encourage anyone with concerns to speak with your local officers. We are here to listen, and will take any action as appropriate.”

The 25-year-old has been charged in connection with the investigation. Enquiries remain ongoing to identify and locate the second male.

Anyone with information is asked to call police via 101 quoting reference CAD 847/16Oct. To remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.