Call for vigilance following spate of thefts in south Warrington Date published: 20th August 2019 1.17pm

Officers are urging people who live in south Warrington to be vigilant following a spate of thefts.

Thieves have been targeting residents’ sheds and vehicles in the Grappenhall, Thelwall and Stockton Heath areas.

There has been a noticeable rise in the number of thefts reported in those areas since the start of the month.

Enquiries in relation to the incidents are ongoing as officers attempt to identity the offenders and make them face the consequences of their actions.

They are urging anyone with information about recent thefts in south Warrington to come forward and are appealing for residents to take action to reduce their chances of becoming victims.

Police Constable Wendy Whitehead, Beat Manager for the Stockton Heath, Grappenhall and Thelwall areas at Warrington Local Policing Unit, said: “There has been an increase in the number of thieves gaining access to sheds, vehicles and homes in the areas over the past few weeks.

“Bikes have been stolen from sheds and items have been stolen from vehicles.

“Vehicles themselves have also been stolen, including after the keys were taken from the owner’s home.

“The public can aid our fight against such crimes by contacting us if they have any information in relation to them, or if they see any thefts or burglaries being carried out or anyone acting suspiciously in their area.

“Information in relation to anyone carrying out, or suspected to be carrying out, such crimes will also be gratefully received.

“Residents can also help us and themselves by making it as difficult as possible for criminals to enter their outbuildings, vehicles and homes and steal their belongings.

“They can do this by following our crime avoidance advice.”

The force’s tips for deterring would-be thieves and burglars include:

Homes and vehicles

  • Ensure that all windows are closed and doors are locked at your property, even when you are at home or in the garden
  • Never leave your house keys, car keys, purse or wallet on display near a door or window
  • Use the security measures on modern windows which allow them to let some air in but still be locked
  • Keep all valuables out of sight of prying eyes
  • If you are replacing or fitting new doors and windows, get ones that are certified to British Standard BS7950 (windows) or PAS 24-1 (doors)
  • Fit mortise locks (Kitemarked BS3621) to all front and back doors, as well as locks to all windows which are easy to reach
  • Have a burglar alarm fitted at your home, but make sure that it is installed properly and works
  • Use security devices, such as steering locks, to keep vehicles secure
  • Park vehicles in well-lit areas and never leave them unlocked or with windows down
  • Tools and other items of value should never be left in full view and should not be kept inside a vehicle overnight wherever possible
  • If your vehicle does not have an alarm, get one fitted by a professional so that you and anyone nearby will be alerted to a break-in.

Outbuildings

  • Never leave a garage, shed or other outbuilding unlocked and easy prey for opportunist thieves
  • Fit strong padlocks to outbuilding doors and make sure that the doors are solid enough not to be kicked in
  • Good external security lighting can put off or draw attention to a thief – the most appropriate form is high efficiency low energy lighting controlled by a dusk-to-dawn switch so that it only comes on when it is dark
  • If you have external security lighting that comes on when sensing movement, make sure that the lights are directed downwards to prevent them from being annoying to neighbours and dangerous to passing traffic
  • Strong fencing or gates will make it difficult for intruders to get onto your land
  • Solid fences or walls, particularly those with a flat or rounded top, are relatively easy for a thief/burglar to climb over – fixing trellising to the top can make it more difficult
  • Check for weak spots where a thief could get onto your land, such as a low or sagging fence or a back gate with a weak lock
  • A thorny hedge along the boundary of your property can put thieves off, as can gravel areas due to the noise of walking on them.

Anyone with information about a theft or burglary incident should call Cheshire Constabulary on 101 or give the details via https://cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.