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Appeal launched following distraction burglary in Luton

7 Sep 2020

We are investigating the distraction burglary of an elderly woman's home in Luton are appealing for information from the public.

At approximately 12.45pm yesterday (Thursday), a man gained entry to a house in Hitchin Road, claiming that a neighbour’s house was flooded and he needed access to lower the water pressure.

The victim, a woman in her 80s, allowed him into her home, and whilst he was in her kitchen, another offender entered the house.

After they left the property, the victim realised that cupboards had been disturbed upstairs, and cash and jewellery, including her wedding ring, was missing.

The first man is described as white, and was wearing a mask and gloves. He spoke with what the victim described as a deep Irish accent.

The victim could not describe the second offender, but both men left the scene in a white van towards Hitchin.

Detective Constable David Pawelek, investigating, said: “This incident has left the victim understandably very shocked and upset, and I am urgently appealing for anyone who may be able to help us identify the men responsible to contact us immediately.

“The jewellery is of huge sentimental value, and if anyone has approached you offering to sell these sorts of items, please get in touch.

“This is a busy road into, and out of, Luton, and this incident occurred during many people’s lunchtime, so I would also like to hear from drivers with dash cam who may have been in the Hitchin Road area at this time yesterday.”

If you have any information please visit our online reporting centre. Please quote the incident number 40/47841/20.

Alternatively, call independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. 

We are asking for your support in encouraging your vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours to take extra care when answering the door to people they do not know.

  • Where possible, only answer the door if you know a member of your family, a friend, a carer or a pre-arranged tradesperson is visiting.
  • If you have an unexpected caller, use a door chain when answering the door, or speak to them through a window.
  • Ensure any other doors to the property are locked before you answer the front door.
  • If unsure of the visitor's identity, always ask for their ID first and telephone the company they are purporting to be from. Use the telephone number listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider.
  • Many service providers, when they are making the appointment with you, are happy to arrange for their representative to use a password of your choosing.
  • Never agree to any work that the caller claims needs to be done in, or to, your home. It is okay to say NO and turn the person away.
  • If you are able, report the incident to the police on 101 with as much detail as you can provide.
  • Even if the person at your door gives you a convincing story as to why they need to enter your house, if you were not expecting them, turn them away immediately and report it to the police on 101.

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