Helicopter helps catch two men charged with distraction burglary

TWO men have been arrested and charged with a distraction burglary in Harpenden after a manhunt involving the police helicopter. They were trapped on Saturday in Queens Road in Harpenden after one distraction burglary and another foiled attempt. The poli

TWO men have been arrested and charged with a distraction burglary in Harpenden after a manhunt involving the police helicopter.

They were trapped on Saturday in Queens Road in Harpenden after one distraction burglary and another foiled attempt.

The police helicopter, which had been trying to trace a vulnerable missing man, helped track down the two men using information from the public who phoned to say two men were acting suspiciously in the area.

In the first incident between 6.30pm and 7pm a man knocked on the door and claimed that he needed to turn the victim's stopcock off while a second man stole a money box from the bedroom.


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Around the same time, two men knocked on the door of a neighbouring house claiming they wanted to leave a parcel for a neighbour. The householder refused them entry.

Detective Sergeant Laura Randall said: "This was very much a team effort with members of the public providing vital information which made it easy to arrest two men.

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"It is very difficult to catch distraction burglars because they prey on the elderly and vulnerable members of our communities.

"We are keen to trace the blue money box that was stolen from the first burglary which contained a green Abbey national bank book. It may have been discarded and if anyone comes across it, please contact police on 0845 33 00 222."

Two men, one from Luton and one from Nottingham, appeared before St Albans magistrates on Monday charged with one distraction burglary and one attempted distraction burglary and were remanded to appear again on July 28.

One of the men has also been charged with possession of an offensive weapon and a knife, fraudulent use of an excise licence, driving while disqualified, having no insurance and a burglary and theft of a vehicle in North Watford.

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