A quick-thinking neighbour had stones thrown at him when he stopped four men in ski masks breaking into a house.

Steven Neighbour saw the men attempting to break-in to a home in Barton Way, Croxley Green at around 10.15pm on Wednesday night (May 11).

Read more: Mum and daughter 'terrified' after person tried to enter their home

“I went to put the cat out and heard the gravel next-door moving about," said Steven.

"When I went into the kitchen, I could see three or four blokes all wearing ski-masks with their backs to me entering my neighbour's (house).

“I shouted at them, and they turned around, so I shouted again and they turned around and got a bit startled. One of them grabbed a handful of stones from the patio and threw them at me, so I went in and phoned the police.

“I think as soon as they realised someone was watching them, they scattered off.”

Watford Observer:

Mr Neighbour said police arrived within minutes of being called. He said despite it appearing from the outside that no one was in, the householder answered the door to the police without having realised anything had happened.

After he posted about the incident on Facebook, people living nearby responded with both fear and anger to the incident and others like it. Some even said they now feel afraid to even sleep in their own home.

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Mr Neighbour added: "There was another burglary only four doors down from me and the police were there three months ago. There was a break-in reported nearby which was actually my girlfriend’s mum’s house and that's only going back a few months.

"People are worried, people were messaging that we should get a WhatsApp group as a precaution. It seems to be a very frequent thing happening around here which it never used to. It used to be safe.”

A police spokesperson said: "Police were called at around 10.30pm on Wednesday 11 May following an incident in Barton Way, Croxley Green.

“It was reported that three males had been seen to jump over a fence and into a garden.

“Officers attended and carried out a search of the area, but the males were not traced.

“Enquiries were carried out and there was no sign of any attempts to force entry to any addresses.”

Police have made an appeal for witnesses: Any witnesses or anyone with information can report it online at herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via our online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call the non-emergency number 101, quoting ISR 710 of 11 May.

Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.