Teenagers arrested after burglary spate in Hitchin, Letchworth, Knebworth and Lilley
- Credit: Archant
Two teenage boys have been arrested following a spate of break-ins which have occurred since the end of March, including 12 in Hitchin alone.
A 17-year-old boy from Hitchin was arrested on suspicion of burglary on Thursday, before a 14-year-old was arrested for the same offence on Saturday. They have both been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
The series of 16 burglaries happened in Hitchin’s Westwood Avenue, Halsey Drive, Waltham Road, Girons Close, Three Houses Lane, Kings Hedges, The Mead, Wilton Road, West Hill, Willoughby Way, Nightingale Road and Orchard Way, as well as one in East Street in nearby Lilley.
There was also one in Western Way in Knebworth and a further two took place in Boscombe Court and Hurst Close in Letchworth.
Police are now urging people to secure their properties.
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Det Insp Mike Keane, who is investigating, said: “We have seen a recent rise in burglaries and are doing everything we can to identify those responsible. As well as the arrests we have already made, we are stepping up our high visibility patrols and are handing out crime prevention advice in affected areas.
“Members of the public can help us in our fight against burglary by remaining vigilant, reporting suspicious behaviour and also by ensuring they have properly secured their homes.
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“Offences can happen during the daytime and evenings when occupants are not at home. Criminals will always prefer to target unoccupied homes. If you give your home a lived-in look, by using a timer switch to turn on a light, radio or TV, when it gets dark then criminals are more likely to avoid your home.”
Hertfordshire Constabulary would also recommend residents consider the follow crime prevention advice to further secure their homes:
· Ensure doors are double locked at all times. Keep windows closed and locked.
· Consider installing a doorbell camera, internal camera and/or monitored burglar alarm.
· Install ‘dusk to dawn’ external lighting and use timer switches in your home to control internal lights, radios and a simulated TV.
· Keep keys and valuables secure and out of sight.
· Ensure boundary fences are secure with side gates locked. Keep tools and ladders in a locked shed.
· Join Hertfordshire’s Neighbourhood Watch for alerts and advice at owl.co.uk.
If you see anyone acting suspiciously in your neighbourhood call police on 101. If you think you could be witnessing a burglary call 999.