Police warning to elderly after spate of distraction burglaries

PUBLISHED: 18:24 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:46 06 May 2010

A SPATE of distraction burglaries in St Albans has prompted police to ask people to keep an extra eye out for elderly or vulnerable residents. Two of the burglaries happened on Tuesday this week with a further two happening last week. At 10am on Tuesday,

A SPATE of distraction burglaries in St Albans has prompted police to ask people to keep an extra eye out for elderly or vulnerable residents.

Two of the burglaries happened on Tuesday this week with a further two happening last week.

At 10am on Tuesday, a man knocked on the door of the home of a 91-year-old woman claiming to have fixed her roof and saying she owed him £25. He then asked for a glass of water and stole £50 from her purse.

The man made a second attempt around an hour and a half later when he asked an 85-year-old woman for £25 for work she had not agreed should be done on her roof. He then said she could pay her £20 as he knew her but she did not recognise him.

Police have issued a description of a white man aged between 40 and 50 with a broad build, wearing a baseball or peaked cap, a brown high-necked jumper and dark trousers.

The two earlier incidents occurred on Tuesday, November 18. In the first at 6.15pm two men posing as police officers knocked on the door of an 85-year-old woman and said they needed to check her windows and doors. A £200 charm bracelet and a small amount of cash was taken.

Less than one and half hours later, they forced the UVPC doors of the home of an 88-year-old woman and when she confronted them, they again claimed to be police officers. Money and jewellery were stolen.

The men are described as white, aged 20 to 29 with large builds, chubby faces and Irish accents. They were both wearing black baseball caps, black jackets and blue jeans.

St Albans Chief Inspector Richard Hann said: "This is a despicable crime preying on the elderly and vulnerable members of our community and unfortunately their stories are very plausible.

"We have increased patrols in the area but also need the public's help in trying to trace the people responsible and we need everyone to take a part in trying to protect elderly and vulnerable members of our community.

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