POLICE in East Yorkshire are reminding householders of the need to keep their homes secure and safe from intruders after a number of distraction burglaries across the area.
One of the incidents involves an address in Main Street, Skidby on Thursday 08 December.
The house is occupied by an elderly couple and the woman had got up at approximately 0615hrs to let her dogs out.
It would appear she left an external door open for a short time before closing it without locking it and returning to bed.
When the woman got up she found her handbag had been stolen from the kitchen.
The bag was later discovered by a member of the public in a wheelie bin in Northgate, Cottingham and handed into police.
All the contents remained in the bag with the exception of £30 in cash.
In a separate incident, a quantity of jewellery as well as a mobile telephone and three handbags, were stolen from an address in Manor Way, Anlaby between 0150hrs and 0730hrs on Saturday 10 December while the occupants were asleep in bed.
The semi-detached property was entered via an insecure kitchen window and items moved from the window ledge before a search of other rooms took place and the property was removed.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Hutchinson said: “I oversee all burglary and vehicle crime investigations in the East Riding and know first hand how distressing it can be to think a person has been inside your home or car; quite often when you have been inside your house and taken your personal belongings.
“Not only is it horrible to think a burglar has been in your home or car, but has taken things that you just can’t live without, like your keys, mobile phones or bank cards and cash.
“Burglars and thieves are not master criminals, they are opportunistic. A burglar only needs to spot an open window, unlocked side gate or dodgy security alarm to make their move, think about it – if you know your home security looks poor, so will a thief. Statistics show that properties with little security are over five times more likely to be burgled than those with good security.
“With Christmas being less than a week away, I’d like to remind everyone to be more security aware, don’t leave Christmas present on show until the big day, don’t advertise your new gifts after Christmas by leaving the packing outside for a week before your bins get collected, all you are doing is advertising to thieves you have a new Wii or PSP etc.
“Detectives in the East Riding are very good at detecting burglaries and vehicle crime, but quite often the crime could have been prevented in the first place if the owners just locked their doors, removed sat navs from cars and put just a little effort into making their property more secure.
“I hope you do not need to see one of my detectives this Christmas, but if you do, please be reassured they will do their best to get your property back.”
With only a few days left before Christmas, a number of security warnings and advice have been issued;
• Insurance – get it or regret it! Getting insurance is cheaper than paying out a small fortune to replace stolen belongings.
• Mark your property – Mark important and expensive possessions (such as your computer/DVD player) with your postcode and house number using special security marker pens. Keep a record of the make, model and serial numbers of all electrical equipment. If the police recover them after a burglary, this will be proof that they are stolen good- and yours.
• When returning home lock your door immediately – Even if you are in the house or garden, keep doors and windows locked. Don’t help sneak thieves. They only take a few seconds to steal something. Look at your doors and windows. Make sure you have sufficient quality locks, restrictors and door chains. If you would like more specific advice please contact your local PCSO or Community Wardens, who will be happy to discus security with you.
• Keep valuables out of sight where possible – Net curtains and blinds restrict what can be seen from outside. Hide purses and handbags and don’t leave cash lying around.
• Be aware who is in your neighbourhood and contact the Police if you are concerned on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
To outwit the a thief:
Always keep your car locked, even if you only leave it for a few seconds. That’s all the time it takes for a criminal to steal your car or belongings.
Avoid leaving anything in your car, whether valuable or not, particularly when its parked overnight. Almost 63% of thefts of and from vehicles happen when they are parked outside the home.
If you need to leave anything in the car, put it in the boot, or out of sight. Be particularly careful about expensive stereo, mobile phone or satellite navigation equipment.
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Park with care and never leave keys in the ignition.