During the first two week`s of August there has been some house burglaries, including break-in`s at sheds and outbuildings in the Rushmoor and Hart areas.
This article is a two-part series which will first concentrate on general burglaries and next week, Asian burglaries.
Between 6th and 8th August, there were three house burglaries in the Farnborough, Aldershot and Fleet areas, where jewellery is thought to be the target.
The burglaries include a ground floor flat, a garage and attempt to break into the main house and lastly, the use of a ladder to access a first-floor window.
In addition, a house in Hook was entered during the afternoon whilst the owner was working in their garden, where money was stolen from a wallet and a shed in Aldershot was broken into during the late morning to early afternoon, where high value tools and golf clubs were stolen.
There is not necessarily a connection to these burglaries, however, they show that there are potentially opportunist thieves about and those who are more organised and targeting homes.
The incident in Hook may be opportunist, but it is equally likely that those responsible are targeting homes where they see people at home and doors and garages left open, knowing they can quickly enter a house and steal whilst the owner is working in the back garden.
The owner of this house saw a stranger walk out of their home and on checking, found that cash was missing from their wallet.
The house which was burgled with the use of the owner`s ladder shows the security risk in leaving first floor windows open.
Burglars using this method do not have to carry with them any equipment to break in either, meaning that if they are known to the police and stopped, they will have no items with them, such as screwdrivers or jemmy bars used to prise open windows, so they know they are safe to travel around and the police will not be able to arrest them for going equipped to steal or burgle.
Ground floor flats are vulnerable to crime too, where windows left open or insecure, will provide similar opportunity for thieves.
These types of crime, whether related or not, show the opportunity available to criminals during the summer, where people will not expect crime to happen when they are at home, nor that criminals would be so bold to climb a ladder and get through a top floor window.
Hampshire Constabulary can confirm that both borough`s have a low crime rate, particularly Hart, which is one of the safest areas to live in the UK, but understandably, this is of no comfort when you are the victim.
There is no need to lock every door and window when you are gardening, but close down garage doors and shut side gates. Keep cash and valuables out of sight in any case as a routine, so anyone looking to quickly enter your home will not find anything, because they won`t want to spend time looking when you are nearby.
Most homes today have windows which will lock on a vented position and although this will not provide too much ventilation, closing curtains or blinds will keep the temperature down whilst you are out, so it is important to keep all windows secure.
Large items such as ladders are difficult to keep in a shed or garage, but make space where you can, or make sure you have a secure side gate to prevent someone entering you garden.
Power tools will have serial numbers, but you can also security mark other tools and outdoor equipment.
Photographs of jewellery can be taken which must be done against a ruler to show size. Any expensive jewellery can be valued which insurance companies will agree to, so in the event of it being stolen, there will be a picture of any items, and you will be able to claim the agreed value back, otherwise you are unlikely to get back anything like the true value.
Hampshire Constabulary recommend Immobilise (https://www.immobilise.com) to register your property with and they have access to the database where checks can be made when property is recovered from criminals.
The below is from the website:
If you have high value jewellery, please consider the following advice:
- If you have a quantity of valuable jewellery in your property, consider storing in another safe location such as a safety deposit box facility.
- Avoid posting about weddings, festivals or other celebrations on social media – criminals may see your posts and work out when you won’t be at home. Check your privacy settings to ensure only friends and family can see your posts and photos.
Photograph each valuable piece of gold or jewellery and keep a written description – this will help police trace it back to you if it is ever stolen and will help identify it if attempts are made to sell it on.
- Ensure jewellery is adequately insured. Register all property (not just jewellery) for free on www.immobilise.com.
- Try to avoid decorating the outside of your home during religious festivals and events. Symbols, flags, lights or other emblems can help criminals identify homes where gold is likely to be present.
Other security measures include installing CCTV and an alarm and security lighting with motion sensors. For more information about crime prevention, visit www.hampshire.police.uk.
PC 1860 Mark Ranola.
Yateley Police Office.