Police are urging people to be vigilant after a series of distraction burglaries and attempted thefts.

At 2.40pm on Wednesday, a woman was distracted after getting out of her car in a supermarket car park in Everard Close by a woman asking for directions and pushing a map towards her.

While this was happening, a man opened her car door, where her handbag was.

Fortunately, she realised and intervened to stop the man.

The woman was described as young, swarthy in appearance and well dressed. The male was of slight build.

At 4.35pm last Saturday, a man parked his van on a driveway in Fellowes Lane, London Colney and rang the doorbell to see if anyone was in.

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

He is described as white, between 5ft 8in and 5ft 10in, aged in his late 20s and of Eastern European appearance.

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

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

St Albans Detective Inspector Alexandra 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.”

She added: “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.