Residents in a Stoke-on-Trent community are being encouraged to step up security on their sheds and outbuildings following a spate of break-ins.
Between Saturday 9 June and Wed 13 June a total of eight sheds/outbuildings were broken into across the Packmoor area, and a variety of items stolen.
The majority of break-ins happened overnight during the five-day period.
A mountain bike, fishing rods and tackle were stolen from a shed in Silverstone Crescent; a mountain bike, aluminium ladders and electrical power tools taken from Rossett Grove and a lawnmower and heavy duty battery charger from Bemersley Road.
Three mountain bikes and a holdall containing fishing tackle were taken from a shed in Blackbird Way; a girl’s pedal cycle from Lordshire Place and a mountain bike from Mellor Street.
Offenders also targeted further properties in Unicorn Place and Finch Street but fortunately nothing was stolen.
A dedicated policing operation to crackdown on the incidents has already netted one arrest - a 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of theft on June 14. He has been bailed pending further inquiries.
As a result of the increasing number of break-ins police launched the operation, which will continue indefinitely. Officers are carrying out both high visibility and plain-clothed patrols and are working closely with residents to offer advice and reassurance.
CI Adrian Roberts, commander of Stoke-on-Trent North Local Policing Team (LPT), said: “Tackling burglary is a priority for my officers and we are determined to put a complete stop on such crime.
“No one likes to find they have had property stolen as the result of a break-in, so I would encourage people to step up security and make it hard for would-be burglars to strike.
“Keep an eye out for suspicious persons/vehicles in the area, and if you are concerned please contact Staffordshire Police on the non-emergency number 101. Residents are also advised to contact police if they are offered such items as those stolen at a knockdown price.
“With help and support from the local community we can crackdown on this type of crime.”
Homeowners can help to protect their outbuildings by following some simple crime prevention advice:
Ensure sheds and garages are in good repair and protected with strong security locks.
Shed alarms and security lighting can be a deterrent.
Mark your property with your postcode and house number – this can assist with returning stolen property and can also be a deterrent to an opportunist thief.
Thread a secured chain or wire through the handles of tools and equipment so that they cannot easily be removed.
Make it harder for someone to enter your garden uninvited – improve boundary fencing or hedges, if possible install gates with good quality padlocks.
Register the ownership details of your property and make them viewable to the Police nationwide FREE for life on the Immobilise Property Register at www.immobilise.com