Police have this week issued a new appeal to householders to be on the alert amid a continuing spate of burglaries in which cash and jewellery are being targeted.
Since mid-November, 24 burglaries have been reported in Burnham-On-Sea, Highbridge, Mark, Clevedon, Congresbury, Long Ashton, Nailsea, Pill, Weston-super-Mare, Wraxall and Yatton.
While the householders were out – sometimes for just 30 minutes – burglars have forced rear doors, often smashing a glass panel to gain entry. They’re targeting cash, watches and high-value jewellery and leaving costume jewellery and other valuables.
Chief Inspector Karen Corrigan, who leads the force’s team targeting burglars, says: “Jewellery and watches are often given to mark special occasions, or are gifts or bequests from loved ones. They have such sentimental value that they can’t be replaced in the same way as other items.”
“We’re determined to catch those responsible for these crimes and attend every dwelling burglary. Officers carry out detailed investigations at each crime scene, including forensic examinations and house to house enquiries, as well as issuing Neighbourhood Watch alerts.”
“What we really need is for people to report any suspicious activity straight away. This could be an unfamiliar car driving slowly down the road, people looking over fences or walking around the side or back of homes, or the sound of breaking glass or alarms sounding.”
“Let us know if you have CCTV or smart doorbell footage of people or cars and if not tell us as much as you can about them.”
Call 999 if a crime is in progress or the suspects are still in the area. Otherwise ring our 24/7 non-emergency number 101. Even if we’re not able to attend straight away, your information could be the missing link in a chain of evidence.
Police advice to deter burglars:
- keeping side gates locked and storing tools and ladders securely
- ensuring doors and windows are closed and locked if you’re not in the room
- locking up and setting the alarm, if you have one, when it gets dark as well as when you go out
- keeping cash in a bank, building society or post office account
- using a specialist storage firm or safety deposit box for high value jewellery
- if you do use a safe, investing in a good quality one that’s professionally fitted to a solid wall or floor
- keeping a record of your valuables including a photo and short description
- wherever possible, installing and using burglar alarms, CCTV and smart doorbells
- joining or setting up Neighbourhood Watch
- avoiding posting on social media which could let the wrong people know you’ll be out at an social event or away on holiday