St Albans warned following series of distraction burglaries in broad daylight

Everard Close, where one of the incidents took place. Picture: Google.

Everard Close, where one of the incidents took place. Picture: Google. - Credit: Archant

The St Albans public has been warned to be on the look-out for distraction burglars.

At 2.40pm on Wednesday, November 21, a woman was getting out of her car at a supermarket car park in Everard Close when she was distracted by a young, swarthy, well-dressed woman asking for directions and pushing a map towards her.

Meanwhile, a man of slight build opened her car door, where her handbag was, but the woman realised and intervened to stop him.

At 4.35pm on Saturday, November 17, a man parked his van on a driveway in Fellowes Lane and rang the doorbell.

When there was no reply, he tried the door handle, but was scared off by a dog.

He is described as white, between five foot eight inches and five foot ten inches tall, in his late 20s and of Eastern European appearance.

Between 1.30pm and 1.40pm on Monday, November 5, at Ryecroft Court, a man knocked on the door of a woman aged in her 80s and told her there had been a water leak.

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While the victim was speaking to him, a second man entered the address and stole five gold rings from upstairs.

Det Insp Alex Warwick said: “We’ve had a number of suspicious incidents this month with people trying to distract residents to burgle or steal from them.

“Please be vigilant, keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable residents and report anything that seems out of the ordinary to police.

“We are not linking these incidents at the moment, but would like residents to be aware of these conmen and women who will make up any excuse to distract you so they can steal from you.

“Always make sure you only open your door to people that you are expecting and don’t feel pressurised to comply with requests from strangers.

“While we continue to proactively patrol the St Albans district and make arrests, we need residents to do their bit by reporting suspicious activity and joining schemes like Neighbourhood Watch.

“Insurance companies are becoming more awkward in compensating victims of crime unless they can prove they have properly secured their premises and invested in deterrents like web cam door bells or CCTV – it is always wise to check your policy and make your home as unattractive to thieves as possible.”

• Three people were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit thefts of motor vehicles and conspiracy to burgle in Kirkdale Road in Harpenden yesterday morning. They are three men aged 17, 35 and 47. They have been released under investigation whilst further enquiries continue.