Detectives from Merseyside Police have stepped up activity to investigate a number of burglaries and attempted burglaries across the region, which are believed to be linked.
There have been seven incidents in Merseyside, at various locations, in which all victims were members of the Asian community.
Officers are investigating incidents that took place between 8 January and 27 February, in Woolton, Sutton Heath, Thatto Heath, Upton and Eccleston. On six occasions offenders have entered homes and stolen large quantities of high-value, distinctive Asian jewellery.
Merseyside Chief Superintendent Louise Harrison said: “Burglary is a very personal crime and understandably the victims have been left distressed by these incidents, with high-value and often very sentimental pieces of jewellery being stolen.
“We are carrying out extensive enquiries and taking a coordinated approach to investigate them – we are examining CCTV, and making house to house enquiries as well as carrying out forensic examinations of all of the scenes, to trace those responsible.
“We are also working closely with members of the Asian community – officers from the force’s Community Engagement team have been liaising with community leaders and this week have visited a number of community centres across Merseyside to speak with members of the community and to provide crime prevention and security advice. A leaflet around crime prevention advice has also been made available to the community and each of the force’s Area Commanders has been notified about these incidents, so patrols and high-visibility policing has been increased where necessary.”
She added: “Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure in their own homes and I would ask anyone with any knowledge of these incidents to think about how they would feel if this was their home and their items?
“It is rare that people from this community have been targeted in this way and it is important that these offenders are brought to justice. Any information about these incidents could be vital to our investigation and I would urge anyone with any information to get in contact.”
Officers would urge anybody with any information about these incident to contact 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Crime Prevention Advice
• If you have UPVC doors make sure you lock them properly. If you simply lift the handle you won’t fully engage all the locks into the frame. You should always secure the door by lifting the handle to activate the bolts and ensuring the key is turned, as the latch itself will not provide adequate security. Remember to remove the key from the door once it is locked and leave it in a close and easily accessible place in case of emergency. Your insurance could be negated if you fail to secure your property correctly
• Residents should also consider fitting an intruder alarm and internal locks, fitted to rear kitchen and living room doors, will help prevent a burglar gaining access to the rest of the house
• Remember that an alarm system requires regular maintenance. One of the main reasons for false alarm activations is due to worn out batteries
• Consider the installation of security lighting – this could be simple Passive Infra-Red (PIR) operated or dusk till dawn lights, which can now be fitted with cost efficient energy saving bulbs
• On entering the house lock the front door behind you
• Never leave your car keys near a door or window. Criminals can hook keys through open windows and letterboxes. It is therefore vital that householders hide the keys from view. People have keys stolen without anyone even entering the premises
• Do not leave car keys in an obvious place; make it as hard as possible for the thief
• If you are threatened with violence for your car keys the best thing to do is to hand them over. Do not put yourself at risk
• Special letter-box cowlings are available – they allow your papers and post to be delivered, but stops the ‘hook & canes’ fishing
• Always lock your windows and doors. If you haven’t got windows locks, you are advised to get window locks fitted. If you have window locks – use them
• Always check your front and back door are secure even if you are in
• Secure your shed and garage properly. Don’t leave tools lying around
• Security mark all your jewellery items, using a forensic marking kit. Also mark your home and garden equipment with full postcode using a UV marker pen or permanent marker. This can help make it easier for victims to be reunited with your property if you are the victim of a burglary and the items are recovered
• When going on holiday make sure milk deliveries are cancelled, post is collected and if possible get friends or family to check on your property.
In addition, there is lots of crime prevention advice on our website,www.merseyside.police.uk. If you have any information about burglaries or to speak to an officer please call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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