Homes under renovation and bungalows targeted by burglars in St Albans

Man who terrorised Whittlesey grandmother for money and stole from his brother escapes jail. Picture

Man who terrorised Whittlesey grandmother for money and stole from his brother escapes jail. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Police have issued a warning to St Albans residents undergoing renovations to their homes after a spate of burglaries in the city.

Tools were stolen from the outside of an address in Brampton Road at 6pm on Thursday, October 10. The burglars tried to get into the house, but were unsuccessful.

Another burglary took place in Cambridge Road between 4.30pm on Thursday, October 10, and 7.30pm on Friday, October 11.

Tools were stolen from outside, and the address was targeted a second time the following night between 11.15pm and 9.30am.

St Albans Det Insp Alex Warwick said: "If you are having building work done on your home, consider installing CCTV or doorbell cameras and leave timer lights on.

"I'd also encourage you to ask your neighbours to be aware of these burglaries. Always call 999 if you see people or vans out of place or acting suspiciously.

"We would rather be called to a false alarm with good intent than miss the opportunity to catch a burglar in the act."

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She added: "Make sure you keep your valuables, including cash and jewellery, out of sight and preferably not in your home if you are living there during building work.

"Where possible, try and make sure scaffolding is not accessible and encourage builders to take their tools off the premises."

There has also been a series of burglaries targeting bungalows, often those that are unoccupied.

Cash and electrical items were stolen from an address in Fellowes Lane, Colney Heath, between 5pm and 10.30pm on Saturday, October 5. Jewellery and cash were also stolen from an address in Swans Close, Colney Heath, that same day.

DI Warwick said: "This is due to ease of access and burglars expecting elderly residents to keep cash and jewellery at home.

"Try and give your home a lived-in look and remember to securely look all windows and doors, and use timer lights.

"If a relative is going into hospital or a care home, regularly check on the property, including removing mail, and remove all valuables to a safe place."

Over the last fortnight, nine catalytic converters were stolen in St Albans district, mostly in Colney Fields and Highfield Park Drive.

Two catalytic converters were sawn off from a Toyota vehicle and a Honda Jazz which were parked in Colney Fields between 11.30am and 2pm on Saturday, October 12.

Two Toyota Auris' had their catalytic converters sawn off while there were parked in Highfield Park Drive between 7pm and 8pm on Wednesday, October 2.

DI Warwick said: "Try to park your vehicles in a garage or in a well-lit area. Please call 999 if you see people jacking up a car and removing part of the exhaust.

"They are blatantly doing it in broad daylight, often looking like genuine mechanics. It takes a matter of minutes. Please also let us know the vehicle registrations of any suspicious vehicles."