Distraction couple on the prowl in St Albans


- Credit: Archant

Bogus callers fooled a St Albans woman in her 70s to search for a lost ball in her garden while her home was burgled, police have said.

Last Friday’s burglary has prompted Herts Police to warn residents to remain vigilant against such callers, as they suspect the two offenders could commit similar offences elsewhere in the county.

A spokeswoman said the couple, a young man and woman, claimed they had lost their ball in the resident’s garden.

After being asked whether they could look for it, the resident took the woman into her garden while, unbeknown to her, the man went through her home and stole jewellery and cash.

Detectives believe the pair have committed distraction burglaries in London, Bedfordshire and Thames Valley.

Detective Sergeant Alex Tyrrell, from Operation Manhunt said: “We know this couple are offending in neighbouring counties and we’re starting to see offences in Hertfordshire.

“We need people to be vigilant to this crime, and to this couple. They look young and tend to use the lost ball excuse to get into someone’s home.

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“But they are also known to say they need a cup of sugar or to borrow something.”

He urged people to warn older family members, friends and neighbours, who may also be vulnerable to this type of crime, about the bogus callers.

To reduce the risk of becoming a victim of distraction burglary the police recommend:

n If you are not expecting anyone and you don’t recognise them, don’t let them into your home.

n If you are expecting a caller ask to see their identification before you let them in.

n Never keep large amounts of cash at home.

n Call 999 if you suspect a crime is in progress or you believe someone is acting suspiciously around your neighbour’s property.