Saturday, 28 November 2015

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Jewellery tops thieves' hit list in Cumbria

JEWELLERY was Cumbria’s most wanted when it came to property stolen from homes in 2012.

DCI Lee Johnson: ‘Simply make sure that doors are locked’

New figures show police received nearly 400 reports that items such as rings and necklaces had been taken during burglaries this year.

Cash was the second most prized item among crooks, with 246 reports of money being taken in home raids.

Further down this chart came computers (181 reports), electrical goods (153), watches (68), clothes (64), telecom equipment (59), bags (55) and keys (47).

Police released figures showing what thieves went for as they urged people not to flag up their Christmas presents to criminals.

Officers stressed how the most-commonly stolen items were easily snatched but could be invaluable, not just in cash value but also in terms of sentiment, and also due to the personal data stored on phones, computers or in handbags.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Johnson said: “As people begin to pack up Christmas gifts and clear out unwanted boxes for their latest gadgets and gizmos, we want to remind them to be sensible and not to advertise their presents to criminals.

“Take the boxes and packaging of electrical or expensive items to the tip, rather than putting them outside your home, as this can act as an advertisement to opportunist thieves.

“At the least, collapse your boxes and wait until the day of your rubbish collection to put them out.

“The items that are in most demand by thieves are the things that are easily taken, so please bear this in mind.

“Items like jewellery, money, mobile phones or iPads that are lying around on worktops, window sills or dashboards are easy prey for an opportunist criminal.

“Electrical items such as power tools can also be easy pickings if your sheds or outhouses are insecure. I’d urge everyone to double-check their security when they’re putting their Christmas decorations and gifts away for another year.”

DCI Johnson added that “insecurity” – when doors or windows are left open or unlocked – was the key factor in thefts and burglaries in Cumbria.

“Thieves will walk down a street or through a cul-de-sac and try a row of doors on vehicles and houses,” he added.

“When they find one open, they will take anything they can find or easily steal.

“By simply making sure doors are locked we can make their lives harder and, more importantly, keep hold of our precious possessions and new Christmas gifts,” said DCI Johnson.

For more information or advice call police on 101.


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