Warning as burglary spree prompts extra police patrols

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Police have increased patrols in the south of the district following a burglary spree.

Officers said a number of homes were targeted by thieves in the Steyning area on Wednesday January 25.

Other properties were also targeted in similar incidents before and after this spree, officers added.

Thieves have been gaining access to the homes through the back of properties, stealing items such as jewellery, cash and electrical products.

Following this spree police said additional patrols have been put in place to investigate any suspicious activity seen or reported by residents.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “During our patrols we find it useful to ‘think like a burglar’, and in doing this we are happy to report that we have seen a good number of properties with good security measures.

“Although we cannot see an occupant it certainly seems likely that someone is home – and, thinking like a burglar, we would consider the risk of being caught would be too high. These houses often seem occupied because various lights are on, because we can’t easily look in windows to check, and sometimes we can hear noise too. The truth is, there may or may not be someone indoors – but the seed of doubt has been sown and a burglar is likely to move on to a ‘better’ prospect.

“Unfortunately though, in most streets there are also homes that seem at much higher risk. These are the obviously empty homes, some of which have had a good car on the drive or nice belongings on show through windows. It is inevitable that many homes will be left empty for periods of time as people leave to go to work or meet other commitments, and if you or a neighbour are in this position please consider taking some steps to help your home appear occupied during those times.”

Police have released the following advice to home owners:

“Start by taking a detached look at the house and, like us, try to ‘think like a burglar’. Why does it look empty? Do you have valuable items on show? Are the keys to your car hanging in view of a window?

“Then take some steps to address what you find – leave lights on in rooms that can’t easily be viewed, consider plugging in or installing timer switches so that the lights go on and off, consider leaving a radio on so that there is some noise of occupation. “Put valuable items out of sight, keep special items of jewellery in a place not easily found, hide keys to the car…and of course make sure to lock the door as you leave. These are just a few simple low-cost or free measures that we can all take to deter burglary.”

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