‘Overwhelming response’ to Crimewatch appeal sees man charged for distraction burglaries

Distraction burglaries
Distraction burglaries
  • Herts Police appeal on BBC Crimewatch gains ‘overwhelming response’
  • Information leads to arrest in connection with 35 distraction burglaries in south east
  • Thomas Hannafin, 23, of no fixed abode to face court today

A national TV appeal for information about distraction burglaries across the region has led to a man being charged.

Police received an overwhelming response from viewers of BBC’s Crimewatch last week, leading to the arrest of 23-year-old Thomas Hannafin.

Officers from Herts Police’s specialist team, Operation Manhunt, which is dedicated to investigating crimes which affect the elderly, had appeared on the show to ask for for information about 35 distraction burglaries which occurred across the county and other areas of south east England between August and October last year.

At this stage, Hannafin, of no fixed abode, has been charged with three burglaries which occurred in Barnet, Bramshott and Slough.

The attacks spanned Herts, Beds, Bucks, Essex, Berks, Surrey and London, with the victims mainly aged in their 80s and 90s.

The remaining offences in the crimewave are to be considered by the Crown Prosecution Service and additional charges sought.

In the vast majority of cases, up to three crooks created a false reason to gain entry to the property to steal, such as investigating a burst pipe, or repairing a water leak.

Hannafin is due to appear at Hatfield Remand Court today.