40 per cent of burgled homes unlocked

MORE than 40% of homes burgled in west Suffolk this month have been entered through unlocked doors or windows, police have warned.

Laurence Cawley

MORE than 40% of homes burgled in west Suffolk this month have been entered through unlocked doors or windows, police have warned.

Suffolk police today urged residents to keep doors and windows locked after a rise in burglary levels.

Figures show 52 properties have been burgled in the Babergh, Forest Heath, Mid Suffolk and St Edmundsbury districts since May.


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The force has also warned more than 40% were as a result of entry points being left either open or unlocked.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Nick Bennett said: “With the recent warm weather windows and doors have been left open, and we've also had people leaving open windows to ventilate a kitchen when cooking, and people leaving a door unlocked because someone else was in the house, but not that particular room.

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“An open window or door is an invitation for a thief to enter your property. Anything of value left on display can be quickly and easily taken. In the summer it's tempting to leave doors and windows open, but we would advise you to only do so if you're in the room. Otherwise keep them locked and keep the burglars out.”

Around half of these burglaries have occurred during daylight hours.

A/DCI Bennett said: “This proves how important it is to lock up. Burglars don't just come out at night - they will take any opportunity presented to them, and it only takes a few seconds to steal a bag or a wallet through an open window or door during the day.”

Items stolen as a result of insecurities tend to be smaller things such as cameras, laptops and mobile phones. Owners are encouraged to record serial numbers and postcode mark items of value, and take photos of them - this helps police identify items if they are recovered and can help prove cases of burglary.

Police have urged residents not to leave items of value near doors and windows where they are on display and easily accessible. This includes keys, as in a number of burglaries cars have been stolen from driveways when offenders have taken keys from a handbag or hung up near a door.

They are also warned against writing down personal identification numbers (PIN) numbers for credit and debit cards and keep it with them, because if a burglar takes your bag or wallet, they'll also be able to get into your account.

In partnership with Suffolk Constabulary, the local borough and district councils provide free security upgrades to those over 60, who are receiving benefits or are disabled, with discounts for others in some areas.

Any suspicious persons, vehicles or activity should be reported to police, taking note of vehicle index numbers and descriptions, on 01284 774100 or you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. If a crime is in progress call 999 immediately.

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