We are reminding residents in Preston and South Ribble to secure their property after recent incidents and a police operation which revealed a number of cars and homes left unlocked and open to would-be thieves.
On Friday 27th April, a team of Special Constabulary officers conducted checks on vehicle doors in both the Ashton and Fulwood areas, with 34 vehicles and 8 houses left unlocked.
Each of the owners and occupants were spoken to and given advice on how to keep their property safe.
Insp Patrick Worden from Preston Police said: “Overnight (Monday 29th to Tuesday 30th April), nine vehicles in the Lostock Hall and Walton Le Dale areas were broken into with the majority of these being left insecure. Four thefts from vehicles also occurred in Penwortham.
“The weather is getting warmer and this, combined with recent incidents, serves as a timely reminder for people about the importance of ensuring windows and doors on cars and homes are secure, particularly when you’re out, in another room or are asleep. Leaving them open is an easy opportunity for thieves.
“We know that the vast majority of burglaries involve property being insecure and so we are urging people to help us help them by locking up to keep the thieves out.
“Home and car owners face an increased risk of becoming a victim if their property is left insecure – an open window or door is an open opportunity for thieves.”
The recent vehicle and home checks came following a number of thefts in Fulwood and Ashton where cars, vans and houses had not been locked.
Insp Worden continued: “We know from speaking to residents that some thefts have not been reported to us but instead shared on social media and messaging apps. We need people to continue reporting when they are victims so we can understand the scale of the issue and take action.
“Following the recent spate we have thankfully charged a 32-year-old man with 14 theft offences and he has been remanded in to custody.
Residents are being urged to follow this advice whilst enjoying the summer weather;
- Close and lock your doors and windows when you go out, even if you are just in the garden.
- Where possible, fit dead locks to the doors and don’t leave the keys where they can be seen or reached through the letter box.
- Install security lights and consider a burglar alarm.
- Remember to cancel deliveries before you go on holiday.
- Keep an eye on your neighbour’s property and encourage them to do the same for you. Report anything suspicious to the police.
- Always lock it!
- Never leave items on display, such as shopping bags, handbags, or coats. Don’t leave spare keys or sat navs in your vehicle, even in the glove box.
- At home, don’t leave car keys in clear view from windows or in reach from the letter box.
- If you use your vehicle for work, remove your tools or other valuables if possible. Simple things like reversing onto the drive so that the rear doors on a van can’t be opened easily will help to put thieves off.
- Park where your vehicle can be seen, even if it means walking a bit further.
- Consider steering locks, alarms, tracking devices and immobilisers and if you have them, use them.
Your shed, garage or outbuilding
- Make sure all outbuildings are in good condition and if they aren’t, don’t leave valuable items inside.
- Use good quality padlocks with covers so they cannot be easily cut off.
- Never leave tools or ladders lying around the garden.
- Make sure the side gate and shed are locked and keep boundary fences, walls and gates in good repair.
- Take photographs of valuable property because if the police recover it after a burglary, this will be proof that they are yours.
Further crime prevention advice is available by visiting www.lancashire.police.uk
Anyone with information or concerns about burglary can contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.