Spate of burglaries in west Suffolk villages sparks police warning

Police are investigating a spate of burglaries in the west of the county.

Police are investigating a spate of burglaries in the west of the county.

Police are urging residents to be vigilant in their own home security following a spate of burglaries in the west of the county over the last month.

Homes in Stowlangtoft, Great Barton, Ixworth, Bardwell and Norton have been targeted in recent weeks and police are appealing for witnesses to the incidents.

The break-ins are similar in nature and detectives are exploring how many of them are linked.

Details of the break-ins are as follows:

• Heath Road, Norton – between 4pm on Thursday, August 10 and 10am on Friday, August 11. Suspects forced entry to the side of the premises and stole a lawnmower which is believed to have required at least two people to carry.

• Thistledown Drive, Ixworth – between midday on Monday, August 14 and 12:15pm on Tuesday, August 15. Offenders forced entry via the front door. At this moment it is not clear if anything has been taken.

• Near High Street and Bardwell Road, Ixworth – between 1:30am on Saturday, August 5 and 2am on Thursday, August 17. Suspects forced entry to a home to the rear of the property. Items stolen include cash and power tools.

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• Micklesmere Drive, Ixworth – overnight into Wednesday, August 16. Entry was forced at the rear of the property. Cash and a grey Peugeot 308 (registration YT59 GPV) was stolen.

• Thistledown Drive, Ixworth – between 6pm on Thursday, August 17 and 7:50pm on Friday, August 18. Suspects forced entry at the rear of the property and jewellery is believed to have been stolen.

• Low Street, Bardwell – between 7pm on Friday, August 18 and 11:45am on Saturday, August 19. Entry was forced to the rear of the property. Jewellery has been stolen.

As the majority of the burglaries in this series of incidents involve houses being entered by force rather than because of insecurities, officers are urging members of the public to be their eyes and ears and ‘See it, Hear it, Report it’.

Suffolk police has issued the following advice to avoid becoming a victim of burglary:

1. LOCK

• Lock all doors and remove the keys before leaving the house. This limits the amount of escape routes available to burglars.

• Keep front doors locked even when you are at home and especially if you are in the back garden.

• Close all windows fully before you leave the house, lock downstairs windows and remove the keys.

• Use window limiters to allow air in instead of keeping windows fully open, even when you’re at home.

• Install window locks on upstairs windows that can be easily accessed by a flat roof.

• Lock back gates using a sturdy lock such as a closed shackle padlock to no less than CEN 3-4 security grade or 5 lever lock.

2. LIGHT

• Leave low-energy lights on timers around the house and keep a radio on to make it seem as though someone is home.

• ‘Dusk-to-dawn’ sensored security lighting is a cheap, low cost way of making sure the front of your home or shed/outbuilding is well-lit.

• Burglars often prefer to work in the dark to avoid detection. Stop burglars from hiding in your driveway and paths by installing an ambient security light that will not disturb neighbours.

• Visible burglar alarms can make burglars think twice; get specialist advice and consult your insurance company.

• Hedging and shrubs to the front of your property should be pruned to no higher than 1m and trim trees up from the ground to 2m. This will allow a clear line of sight across your property and will stop the garden being used as a hiding place.

3. HIDE

• Keep your valuables, jewellery, cash, passport and deeds to your property in a safe.

• Never leave spare keys in an open place. Hide away to prevent them being stolen.

• Keep dustbins and wheelie-bins away from fencing/gates as these can be used by thieves to climb into windows or used to escape.

• Make sure valuables are property marked. Take photographs and keep a note of any serial numbers.

• Don’t leave equipment and tools lying around that can be used by burglars to break into your home, such as hammers, shovels or gardening tools. Keep ladders locked away and out of sight.

Anyone who has witnessed any suspicious activity in the area or has any information is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting reference 55229/17.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their anonymous online form here.

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