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Crackdown on burglary crime ahead of Christmas

22 Dec 2017

We have made 17 arrests across the county over the last week, during a week-long operation aimed at tacking burglary and robbery ahead of Christmas.

Officers took part in a series of initiatives to apprehend suspects linked with a number of crimes, with a particular focus on those thought to be involved with recent burglaries or robberies.

A number of those arrested have a history of similar offences and some suspects were apprehended for violent crimes unrelated to burglary. Items were also recovered from various addresses, including stolen property, equipment which could be used to pick locks, and clothing vital to solving other crimes.

In addition, more than £15,000 of cannabis was seized from one address.

Some of the charges include armed robbery, involvement in distraction burglaries and breach of bail conditions.

Officers were also able to gather significant new intelligence on a number of potential suspects, which will be used to help assist with unsolved crimes.

Duncan Young, Detective Chief Inspector for Serious and Complex Crime, said: “The great work done by the team over the last week has ensured that a number of suspects have been charged or arrested.

“Burglaries are an upsetting crime to deal with at any time of the year, but even more so at Christmas. By putting extra resources into tackling burglaries, we have been able to build on the work our Operation Fidelity team is already doing each day.

“We are committed to catching burglars and would urge people to stay vigilant and utilise our advice and guidance to help them prevent them becoming victims of burglary.”

DS Andy Greenacre, leading the operation, said: “This was a hugely successful week for our team and a really good demonstration of what can be achieved by having the right people in the right place at the right time.

“Furthermore, the new intelligence we have gathered will be helpful in solving a number of other crimes."

Some of the results across the week include the arrest of Richard Saint, 34, of De Havilland Avenue, Bedford, who was charged with burglary and theft; Rowena Barley, 41, of Fenlake Road, Bedford, who was charged in relation to a distraction burglary; and, Anthony Stephenson, 39, of Woburn Court, Luton, who was arrested for breaching electronic tag conditions and bail.

Top tips to help reduce the risk of burglary

  • Make your house look lived-in - burglars won’t be as tempted if they think someone is home. If you’re heading out for a Christmas party of a festive gathering, keep your lights on a timer and consider keeping your radio playing so it seems like someone is home. 
  • Lock up when you leave - make sure all windows on your house, vehicle and garages or sheds are securely locked at all times. Not only can valuable tools be appealing to burglars, they can also be used to force entry to a home. 
  • Keep presents out of sight - keeping your Christmas presents on display can entice opportunist thieves. Try to keep them hidden in a safe place or store them out of view of windows. 
  • Don’t give crooks an easy entry - never leave keys under a doormat or in a flowerpot – it’s the first place a would-be offender would look. 
  • Look out for neighbours - ask a friend to keep an eye on your house if you're going away for the holiday season, and do the same for neighbours. Stay alert to suspicious activity on your street.
  • Use a secure car park - if you're out doing Christmas shopping or having a night out in the town centre, use a secure, well lit car park.
  • Don't leave valuables on display - if you have to leave Christmas presents in your car while you're Christmas shopping, keep them covered up and locked in the boot.
  • Property mark your new gifts - by property marking any valuable gifts you receive, you are more likely to get them returned to you in the unfortunate event that they are stolen. 

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