Police have issued home security advice after a series of car key burglaries across West Wiltshire.
Officers are investigating burglaries in Trowbridge, Melksham, Bradford on Avon, Westbury and Warminster.
In the majority of the burglary cases, offenders have entered a property through an unlocked door and stole keys from the hallway, before returning later to steal the car.
Inspector Andy Fee, West Wiltshire Community Policing Team, said: “We are seeing a trend in residential burglaries across West Wiltshire where offenders are getting into people’s homes via insecure doors and the offenders are taking car keys. Cars are then being taken and dumped locally.
“With the night’s drawing in and houses being left in darkness until residents are home from work, I would like to remind everyone of some simple ways to keep their property secure over the festive season”.
To improve the security in and around your home this Christmas, we are asking residents to remember the following advice:
- Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, and make sure you have approved locks or bolts on all doors and windows
- Use a timer to set lights to mimic your usual activity when you are not home. However, for safety reasons don’t leave Christmas lights on when you are not at home
- If you are away over Christmas ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your house and they could even park their car on your driveway
- If you are going away over Christmas, avoid discussing plans on all forms of social media. Burglars can use this information to their advantage. If you buy large or valuable items such as a bicycle, and need to store it until Christmas day, make sure it is in a secure location and any serial numbers are registered with Immobilise.com
- Ensure keys and handbags are not on display in your premises
- Do not leave boxes out for the dustbin collection. This advertises the new items you have in your home
- Don’t leave presents on view under the Christmas tree if they can be seen from the street. Keep them hidden until Christmas Eve
- Always report any suspicious activity, note any vehicle registrations, descriptions of persons involved and direction of travel
- Make sure any bolts are low enough so they cannot be opened by reaching over the top of the gate
- Never leave a key in a hiding place like in a plant plot or letterbox – a thief knows all the hiding places
A new dedicated resource has recently been implemented by Wiltshire Police that will not only tackle burglary, but all priority crimes.
The Community Tasking Team (CTT) will be working closely with existing local community policing teams, and with specialist Crime Scene Investigators (CSI), to ensure the biggest possible impact is made on prolific offenders who blight the lives of our local communities.
If you have any information about offenders or see something suspicious in your area, please call Wiltshire Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency dial 999.