Warning after wave of distraction burglaries in Hertfordshire

RESIDENTS are being told to stay vigilant following a spate of distraction burglaries in Hertfordshire last night (Wednesday).

Hertfordshire Constabulary is issuing safety advice to homeowners after being called to five separate instances of burglars gaining access to people’s homes – including two in Hatfield.

At around 10pm, police were called to The Ryde area after a woman in her 80s challenged a man who gained access to her property by pretending to be a police officer investigating a burglary.

The suspect is described as white, in his late teens, clean shaven with long dark sideburns. He was wearing a blue puma baseball cap, a quilted yellow jacket and dark trousers.

He left the home without taking anything.

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The second incident was also in the Ryde area, although police have not yet released details.

Three other distraction burglaries were reported last night – one in Harpenden and two in Hitchin.

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Detective inspector Dave Wheatley said Operation Manhunt, which targets distraction burglars, is “thoroughly investigating” the crime spree.

“In the majority of these incidents the offenders were challenged by the householders who had felt empowered to turn them away,” insp Wheatley said.

He added: “Never open the door to a caller you are not expecting, and if you do get a suspicious call, contact police immediately. “We find that elderly people are targeted by distraction burglars and would ask people to pass this message to their elderly friends or relatives.”

If you have any information about any of last night’s burglaries, call police on 0845 3300222.

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