Robbers tear jewellery from 91-year-old woman during break-in

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Robbers burst into an 91-year-old woman’s home and tore the jewellery she was wearing from her body, when they targeted a home in Grovehill on Monday (July 4).

The offenders forced entry into the Hunting Gate property between 10.30am and 11.30am, before going upstairs to search the property.

There the woman disturbed them and one of the offenders then grabbed her and forcibly removed the jewellery she was wearing. While this was going on, the second man has made an untidy search of the house.

The men then left the house and made off in an unknown direction, taking the following items of Asian jewellery: a yellow metal necklace, earrings, and four bangles.

Det Con Yolanda Morales-Willis, from the Hemel Local Crime Unit, said: “While the victim was not physically hurt during the incident, it has understandably caused her a great deal of distress.

“The offence took place on a quiet road and it is very rare for victims to be confronted in this way in Hertfordshire.

“We are currently undertaking extensive enquiries into this incident and would like to appeal for any witnesses to this incident, or anyone who saw men making off from the scene to get in touch with police as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information should contact the Hemel Local Crime Unit via the Hertfordshire Constabulary non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference D1/16/4791. If you have been offered Asian or high value gold jewellery for sale in suspicious circumstances please also contact police.

Alternatively, if you have any information about this incident you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.

Det Con Morales-Willis added: “While crimes of this type are rare in Hertfordshire, we would advise people to follow the crime prevention advice below as it may help deter criminals from targeting your property.”

Police are issuing the following crime prevention advice:

• Invest in a safe, and ensure that it is securely fixed to a brick wall;

• Alternatively, consider using a bank safety deposit box to store gold or high value jewellery;

• Make sure you double-lock any UPVC doors by lifting the handle, locking it with the key and removing the key to a safe place where it can’t be seen from outside;

• Lock all external windows and doors including rear and side entrances when you go out;

• Consider joining your local Neighbourhood Watch or OWL Scheme at www.owl.co.uk/herts;

• Review your current home security arrangements to ensure that they are adequate. When addressing security consider the value of your belongings kept within the home;

• Use timer switches on lamps to give the impression that somebody is at home, or leave a light on in the evening if you go out;

• Consider installing a light with a sensor and review the lighting around your premises - are there any blind spots or areas that an aspiring burglar could secrete themselves from view?;

• Photograph each piece of valuable jewellery with a written description. This will help in appealing for information and returning it to you if it is stolen. Ensure your property is valued by your insurance company;

• Register your property for free via the secure online database www.immobilise.com – if police recover your property, they will we be able to return it to you;

• Mark your jewellery with an appropriate marker, e.g. the ImmobiMark UV pen.