An ‘unusual’ spike in burglaries in the Dacorum area has prompted police to warn homeowners to be vigilant against opportunistic crooks.
Officers from the Hemel Hempstead local crime unit are asking those living in the town to report any suspicious activity immediately, following a series of burglaries in the area as well as in Kings Langley and Berkhamsted.
In just one week since January 14, a total of 13 burglaries have been reported across these areas.
Detectives believe the break-ins have mainly taken place during the day and into the evening, with the culprits mainly forcing entry through a rear door or window.
Recent incidents include an attack on a house in Collett Road, Hemel Hempstead, between Saturday and Sunday – an incident with the reference number D1/15/359.
Jewellery was then nabbed from a property in Bassil Road in the town on Sunday, after the burglars forced open a rear window. The police reference for this crime is D1/15/374.
Nothing was taken during a house break-in at Queens Road, Berkhamsted over the same weekend, but foreign currency and a passport were taken from another address in the road after breaking into a rear window on the Sunday.
Information on these crimes can be given using the references D2/15/46 and D2/15/47 respectively.
Jewellery and DVDs were also stolen from a property in Church Lane, Kings Langley, between 7.20am and 6pm on last Wednesday – reference D1/15/291.
Hemel Hempstead Det Insp Carolyn Taylder said: “This increase in burglary is very unusual for Dacorum and we are working to do all we can to identify the people responsible and prevent further incidents from taking place.
“I’d reassure residents that additional police patrols have been put in place to act as a deterrent, however we cannot be everywhere at all times which is why I would ask people to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police.
“You may see people in a suspicious vehicle or someone trying to access your neighbour’s rear garden. If you see anything out of the ordinary and you believe a crime may be in progress, dial 999 immediately.
“We’d also ask people to take additional security precautions. Make sure you double lock your doors and ensure all doors and windows are locked when you leave your house.”
Last week, the Gazette’s sister paper the Herald Express carried a police appeal for information on an earlier burglary in Hemel Hempstead, which took place between Christmas and New Year from 1.30pm on Saturday, December 27 to 8.30am the following Monday.
Unique and distinctive items including an antique barometer and 1930s leather bound Charles Dickens book set were among the items taken, along with cash, DVDs, three jewellery boxes, power tools and alcohol.
A men’s Omega 1959-1960 gold watch, four spaghetti bowls from Italy – each with recipes printed on – and even a pair of curtains were also nabbed during the raid. The police reference given for this offence is D1/14/7876.
Anyone with information about any of these crimes is urged to report it using the police non-emergency number 101.
Officers also urge households to protect themselves from becoming victims by securing all doors, windows, garden gates and sheds, keep all loose valuables out of sight of any would-be thieves, and consider installing alarms or ‘dusk to dawn’ security lighting.
Two men and a women have appeared at court this week on separate burglary charges relating to Hemel Hempstead break-ins – Click here for more.