Detectives are appealing for the public’s help in tracing three men wearing balaclavas who burgled a house in Rickmansworth at 6.20pm yesterday (Tuesday, February 5).
The offenders, described as young men, dressed in black with strong Irish accents, forced their way into the address in Harefield Road and threatened the occupant before assaulting him with a screwdriver.
“Fortunately his injuries are not serious but nevertheless, it was an unusual aggravated burglary where the offenders demanded gold,” said detective inspector Mike Hanson from the Three Rivers Local Crime Unit.
“It has understandably caused concern within the community. Rest assured we are doing everything we can to trace the people responsible, including increased high-visibility and covert patrols. If you know who may be responsible or saw anyone acting suspiciously on Tuesday, please get in touch with us by calling 101.”
During the burglary, the offenders removed the fireplace and made an untidy search upstairs. They stole a gold ring and a gold necklace.
DI Hanson said: “I’d encourage residents to keep their expensive and sentimental jewellery securely in banks or hide it in an unusual place, not in a jewellery box or upstairs. Also take photos of your jewellery. We’d also like to hear from anyone who has been offered cheap jewellery for sale as it could be stolen.”
Similar burglaries targeting gold and Asian jewellery have taken place across other parts of the county, including St Albans, and in London.
He said: “Please call in suspicious incidents, keep an eye out for your neighbours’ property and help protect your home by investing in CCTV cameras and video door bells. Think about leaving lights on and using timer switches and consider leaving a radio on to make your house seem occupied. Also sign up to Neighbourhood Watch via the Online Watch Link (OWL) owl.co.uk to receive emails about crimes in your local area or speak to your local PCSO.”
Always report any suspicious incidents to police on 101. If you suspect a burglary is in progress, always call 999.
He added: “We would rather turn up to a call with good intention than risk a burglar escaping.
“If you’ve got information, no matter how small it might seem, call me via the non-emergency number 101 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org quoting ISR 639 of February 5.” You can also report information online at herts.police.uk/report
Alternatively, you can stay 100 per cent anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org
For over 30 years, Crimestoppers has always kept its promise of anonymity to everyone who contacts them.