Elderly residents in St Albans and Harpenden are being targeted in a series of distraction burglaries across Hertfordshire.

Police investigating a series of thirteen distraction burglaries across Hertfordshire have released E-fit images of the suspects to help identify them.

One of the most recent incidents occurred in St Albans on Monday, February 4, when cash was stolen from the house of a woman in her late 80s.

The incidents, which are believed to be linked, have occurred in Hitchin, Royston, Hemel Hempstead, Harpenden, Hatfield, Smallford, St Albans and Cuffley, since November last year.

It is believed two men are travelling the county, targeting older people. In most incidents one of the men cons their way into the victim’s house by telling them that he is working on a neighbouring property, has burst a pipe and needs to check the victim’s water supply.

The man then distracts the victim in the house while a second man comes in and commits the burglary.

The men are described as white, with Irish accents, between the ages of 30 and 50. One man is said to have a very slim build and the second is said to be larger.

Detective Sergeant Mark Clawson from Operation Manhunt, said: "The victims’ ages have ranged from 77 to 93, and we know they target older people because they tend to keep larger amounts of cash at home, and will not be so suspicious of unannounced callers.

"These criminals are extremely convincing so if you open the door they will talk their way in. If you have older relatives or neighbours I would urge you to take some time to tell them not to open the door to anyone they aren’t expecting.

"If you can help us identify these men, please call police via the non-emergency number on 101. If you believe you see these men acting suspiciously, call police immediately via 999."