St Albans thieves are foiled by cupcake crimefighter

A PROMINENT St Albans businesswoman turned amateur sleuth to help police track down robbers who broke into her car and stole her laptop and drinks bought for a staff function.

As a result of quick-thinking and speedy communication with local computer stores, the laptop and bottles of alcohol were all recovered within a day.

Luisa Zissman, who owns Dixie’s Cupcakery in Market Place, said that she phoned the police early one morning after discovering she had recently been burgled.

She and her husband then phoned firms in St Albans which sell second-hand computers to alert them to the theft.

Later that day, Luisa received a phone call from Mr Computer at Victoria Street, where a staff member had been approached by youths trying to sell a laptop.

Luisa said: “They had them on CCTV so I called the police and said I was going to go into the store. But before I arrived the police had got there and were looking at the CCTV.”

It was discovered that the youths had apparently then approached another store – Netizens on London Road.

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Luisa said that she immediately left for that store, adding: “As I got there, eight police officers were in there, approaching three lads.

“So I started shouting at them, and was taken out of the shop. But it’s so good how quickly they were caught. By 5.30pm that day, I had my laptop back.”

The alcohol was also later recovered by the police.

Luisa said: “My laptop had been wiped clean, but Netizens managed to restore half of my database, which is really good for me.”

Commenting on her sleuthing efforts, Luisa said that, “if you take some initiative and don’t sit back and help out, you can get your stuff back.

“It didn’t take a lot to ring around the shops. And Mr Computer was so good – if they hadn’t phoned me, I wouldn’t have known they had been approached. It’s a good example of the community working together.”

A spokesman for Herts Police said that between 6.30pm on Monday, December 17, and 8.40am the following day, the driver’s door of the victim’s vehicle, parked in Meadowcroft had been forced open.

Three men, aged 18, 19 and 20, were later arrested on suspicion of theft and handling stolen goods. They have been released on bail while investigations continue.