Renewed warning after further distraction thefts in Watford

Picture from stock

Picture from stock

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Police have renewed their warning after a series of incidents in Watford where jewellery has been stolen from people after they have been stopped and asked for directions.

The incidents have been occurring since early April and since then seven incidents have been reported to police, the most recent two were on Wednesday, May 7.

The first occurred in Francis Road between 10.30am and 11am and the second occurred in Wiggenhall Road at 12.40pm

In most cases the victims are stopped by a motorist and asked directions to the hospital. While the victims lean into the car to assist with directions, a passenger in the rear of the car attempts to give the victim a necklace to thank them, but removes their jewellery in the process. In some cases the passenger gets out of the car and attempts to remove the jewellery or other belongings using distraction techniques.

Detective inspector Jason Keane, from the Watford Local Crime Unit, said: "It is mainly older people who are being targeted and in busy areas such as the town centre or busy main roads.

"I’d ask people to be aware and if they are approached in the street for directions in this way then they should not talk to them and walk off.  If you can, take down details of the vehicle and contact police immediately via 999 or the non-emergency number 101."

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