A thief who terrorised elderly and vulnerable people across Hertfordshire has been convicted.

Michael McCann, 32, of no fixed abode, has been convicted after pleading guilty to thefts, fraud and driving offences in Abbots Langley, Bricket Wood, Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley, London Colney, St Albans and Watford.

He pleaded guilty today at St Albans Crown Court (April 12).

He admitted to 36 separate offences committed between June 24, 2018 and December 28, 2018, including 14 offences of snatching handbags, predominantly from elderly and vulnerable women.

McCann drove around in stolen vehicles searching for his victims before approaching them as they parked their vehicles. 

In these offences he would open the passenger door and grab the victim’s handbag before making off, sometimes using force to do so. 

The other 22 charges relate to fraudulent use of victim’s bank cards and various driving offences.

McCann was arrested on December 28, 2018 following a police pursuit in Hemel Hempstead after the blue Ford Transit van he was driving, which he stole from Barnet, was activated on an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera. 

McCann was sentenced to 6 years and 11 months in prison. 

Detective Sergeant Caeva Taylor, from the Dacorum Local Crime Unit, said: “This has been a very protracted and complex investigation involving multiple different policing units and forensic experts. 

"McCann’s offending has had a profound impact on many of his vulnerable victims and I would like to thank those who came forward for their bravery. 

“I want this to serve as a warning to those people who choose to commit theft offences in Hertfordshire, that we will relentlessly investigate these crimes and pursue the suspects until justice has been served.”