Police keep ‘open mind’ on linking spate of muggings in Hitchin, Letchworth, Biggleswade and Arlesey – as top cop speaks out to reassure

Chief Insp Julie Wheatley talks to the Comet.

Chief Insp Julie Wheatley talks to the Comet. - Credit: Archant

Police are keeping an ‘open mind’ about linking a spate of muggings in Letchworth, Hitchin and Biggleswade in recent weeks – with officers in neighbouring Beds today confirming details of another crime in Arlesey on Thursday afternoon.

The victim in the village attack was a woman in her 80s who was walking along the High Street at around 2.30pm when she was approached by a woman who told her she had a bee on her shoulder.

The thief then pushed the victim to the ground before stealing her handbag, money, phone and keys.

The offender is described as white, around 5ft 4in and in her 20s.

Det Con Dan Matcham of the Beds force said: “This was a nasty and unprovoked attack on an elderly woman which has understandably left her shaken.

“I’m appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to contact us so we can help find the individual responsible and prevent her from carrying out further crimes.

“We absolutely will not tolerate robbery and are committed to finding the culprit.”

Most Read

A Beds police spokesman added: “We are examining a number of lines of inquiry and keeping an open mind as to whether this incident is linked to others.”

The theft follows on from a 25-year-old woman having her handbag taken along with cash and an iPhone 6S in Broadway in Letchworth around 10pm on Saturday, May 7, after a ‘slim’ man approached her from behind.

A woman in her 40s in Hitchin fought off a mugger with the same description who approached her from behind as she walked along on Bancroft around 10pm on Thursday evening.

A woman was also assaulted in Biggleswade last Wednesday when a man attacked her and attempted to steal her handbag.

The top cop for North Herts, Chief Insp Julie Wheatley moved to calm worries about the crimes in Hitchin and Letchworth.

She told the Comet: “I appreciate these incidents will have caused a lot of distress to the victims as well as concern in the wider community.

“We are doing all we can to catch those responsible and I would like to reassure you North Herts remains a safe place to live and work – and people should not be deterred from going about their daily business.

“There are several steps people can take to help keep themselves safe when out and about, such as arranging to walk with a friend rather than alone, sticking to busy and well-lit areas and keeping valuables out of sight.”

If you have information about any of the incidents call 101.