Warning over rise of creeper burglaries
By Ted JeoryRESIDENTS have been urged to extra vigilant in shutting windows and doors during the hot weather following an increase in the number of burglaries.
By Ted Jeory
RESIDENTS have been urged to extra vigilant in shutting windows and doors during the hot weather following an increase in the number of burglaries.
Figures released yesterday by Essex Police showed 38 burglaries had been reported in the Monkwick, Old Heath, New Town and Maldon Road areas of Colchester in the six weeks to August 15.
That compared with just 16 in the six weeks to May 15 - with none at all reported in Maldon Road, where police now believe there are burglars operating.
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The warning comes just days after two residents chased after a suspected burglar found on their properties.
Paul Howard, of Churnwood Road, Colchester, was in bed upstairs when he saw his security light outside flicker on at about 11pm on Wednesday.
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He looked out of his window and saw a bicycle on his driveway, then noticed his neighbour's downstairs window was open with a “strange” figure standing nearby.
The 41-year-old driving instructor said: “I shouted out and thought 'That's it'. All I had on was my boxer shorts, but I ran after him up the hill.
“But he'd got back on his bike and as I'm not the fittest, I went back to my car. By that time my neighbour had come outside, so we got into my Ford Fiesta and went after him.”
They searched the surrounding roads for several minutes, but returned without success and found the police waiting.
Det Sgt Roger Napier, of Colchester police, said: “There is no doubt that the number of reports about this has increased. It's a constant battle all-year round. The seasonal bit alters the type of burglary.
“It's now the creeper burglars. These are people who gain entry to your house while you are in there asleep by getting in through insecure windows or doors.
“In hot weather, people should check all windows and doors are closed and locked before they go to bed, on the ground floor at least.
“There's no reason why upstairs you can't have smaller windows open. I would always recommend a secondary locking device on all doors and windows.
“There is a creeper in the Maldon Road who just goes up and down trying doors, windows and people' sheds and garages.”
Det Sgt Napier urged residents to lock securely all sheds and garages where valuable equipment was stored.
The suspected burglar in Churnwood Road was described as white, of slim build, aged about 14, fairly tall, skinny, with dark hair and carrying a rucksack.
Anyone with information about the suspected burglar should contact Colchester police on 01206 762212.