Rural residents advised to be wary of burglars

January 13, 2022

North Yorkshire Police is stepping up patrols in villages across the Selby district following a spate of burglaries in the area.

Last Friday (January 7), four separate burglaries were reported to police - two in Biggin, one in Sherburn in Elmet and one in Hambleton. A grey VW Golf that was linked to the burglaries was found abandoned in West Yorkshire on Sunday, January 9 after failing to stop for police. This vehicle has since been recovered by West Yorkshire Police and investigations are under way. Officers are asking residents to be vigilant and, where possible, increase security around their property and vehicles. They’ve noticed a pattern of offenders attempting to gain entry to properties via exterior doors and windows. 

Sergeant Robert Campbell of the Selby District Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “I’m aware that residents who live in rural villages in the Selby district may be alarmed following an increase in burglaries. I want to reassure residents in these villages that we’re carrying out increased patrols day and night to try and intercept the criminals who are responsible. I’m also aware that our colleagues in neighbouring forces have seen an increase in incidents of a similar nature from villages near to or just over the border; we are actively linking in with South Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Police to help build intelligence. “I would urge residents to think about their home security and steps they can take to help deter criminals away from their property. I would also encourage anyone who witnesses any suspicious activity to report this immediately to police on 999”. Anyone with any information about the burglaries is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police by telephoning 101, selecting option 2, and asking to speak to Sergeant 166 Rob Campbell. Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12220003310. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers by telephoning 0800 555 111.

Police have also shared the following simple steps that members of the public can take to protect their property:

• Make your home look occupied by using timers on lights and radios.

• Close and double lock all doors and windows when going out, even if you’re only away from home for a short period of time. Popping to the shops or nipping to a neighbour can be all the time a burglar needs to break into your home.

• Always double lock your doors and windows when you go to bed.

• Keep all valuables and keys out of sight and away from door, windows and letterboxes.

• If you have a porch light, turn it on from dusk until dawn.

• If you’re working from home, make sure your laptops and electronic equipment are not on view.

• When not in use, store electronic car key fobs in a security pouch to prevent them being scanned by thieves to open and steal your car.

• Make sure that tools and garden equipment are securely put away so that thieves don’t use them to burgle your house.

• If you have a key safe, make sure it is not visible to people passing by, but that anyone tampering with it can be seen.

• Think about installing bollards or gates on your driveway and make sure they are kept locked overnight. These offer a good physical barrier to deter thieves.

• Don’t advertise that you are away from home on social media.

• Consider investing in CCTV at home as this can be a strong deterrent for thieves, as well as giving you peace of mind. Keep the lenses on CCTV cameras clean and check them regularly to make sure they’re not obscured by trees, plants or cobwebs.  (13-01-402 SU)

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