- Suspicious Circumstances. Long Marston Road. Two males seen on private driveway next to vehicles. Caller concerned regards their motives. No offences disclosed at the time. 1.05am Saturday 4th December. 0017 04/12/2021
- Theft. Barton Road. Digger stolen and put onto the back of white open backed lorry. Last seen heading through Dorsington. 7.30am Thursday 25th November. 0060 25/11/2021
Keeping your shed or garage safe and secure
Many people don’t secure their shed or garage in the same way they do their homes – often using an easy-to-break lock or padlock to protect valuable contents such as a car, bike or lawnmower. An opportunistic burglar will try a shed or garage first because they can find the tools they need to break into the main house. Check that your insurance covers the contents of your shed or outbuildings from theft.
Think like a thief – Take a look at your shed and consider how you would break in. It’s worth having a good padlock on the door with no exposed screws. Pay attention to hinges, as these are sometimes easily removable. If you have windows then these could be vulnerable unless they’re secured with wire mesh or grills. And keep it locked at all times.
- Alarm it
- Consider a battery-operated shed alarm. They look low key but they respond to movement or door contact with an extremely loud siren.
- Lock it, hide it or mark it
- Don’t give them the opportunity or the tools to commit a crime. Lock everything away securely. Tools can be locked inside a locker or box or secured with a chain.
- Secure your bike to the ground or a lockable stand within a locked shed or garage. Visit Sold Secure to search for ground anchors and other locks designed to fix to floors and walls.
- It’s always worth draping an old sheet or blanket over the top of mowers or bikes to keep them covered from view.
- Although it might sound like stating the obvious, never leave your garage or shed door unlocked if you’re not around.
- Property marking your items is advisable and some tools can be painted with your name or postcode. Forensic marking is also an option.
The top five most common items stolen from sheds
- Sports equipment
- Power tools
- Garden tools
Local Neighbourhood Watch schemes work in a variety of ways that reflect the needs of the local community. This includes: sharing crime prevention advice and information; running awareness campaigns; holding social events and awards for local people and businesses; leading community projects, such as litter picks, a community café, flood defence response, presentations in schools and work with young people and children and community messaging with the police. For further information on the work of the NHW and instructions on how to create or join a scheme, visit here – https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/
The Warwickshire Neighbourhood Watch page can be found here – http://warwickshirenwa.ourwatch.org.uk/
Here are a few crime prevention tips to deter vehicle crime.
- Always lock your vehicle. Whether it’s in the garage, on the driveway of your house, unattended for a few seconds or in an isolated car park, lock it and activate any alarm system.
- Always remove valuable items from the vehicle. If this cannot be done the items must be removed from view and secured in a glove box or boot.
- Fit an alarm that will activate on movement in the vehicle. An alarm that can notify you in real time that there is a problem is extremely useful.
- Items such as tools and machinery that cannot be removed can be secured in lockers and security marked with high visibility paint etc.
- If available, park your vehicle in a location that is covered by CCTV, overlooked by houses or is in an area that is in constant use.
- Use anti-theft screws and sticky pads for number plates. If you have a plate that is stolen, replace it with one that has a different design so it is distinguishable from the stolen plate.
- If you see or hear any suspicious activity around a car or car park, ring 101 to report straight away. Active crimes where the offenders are still at the scene can be reported on 999.
- For further advice visit – https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/theft-from-a-vehicle/
The force is supporting StreetSafe a new national online tool to allow people to flag places where they have felt unsafe. The system – which is primarily aimed at women and girls – allows members of the public to anonymously drop a pin onto a map and describe factors that caused them concern, including behavioural or environmental reasons why they felt unsafe. Superintendent Mike Smith, community and response policing lead for Warwickshire Police, said: “We’re pleased to support and promote this national initiative. Everyone has a right to walk the streets safely and we are committed to ensuring this happens. A key part of this is tackling violence against women. “We will use the information collected using this tool alongside other community intelligence to identify areas of concern and put measures in place to address them.”
More information – https://bit.ly/3DIF6gO
Access StreetSafe – www.police.uk/StreetSafe
Catalytic converter theft protection advice
Did you know a thief can steal a catalytic converter in a matter of minutes? Most vehicles have catalytic converters, which can be stolen for the value of the precious metals or illegally re-sold. We’ve seen a recent spate in catalytic converter thefts across the county. Thieves tend to target hybrid cars – including models such as the Toyota Prius, Auris, Honda Jazz and Lexus – as the value of their converter is higher and they can be accessed more easily with a jack.
The simplest way to prevent catalytic converter theft is to put your vehicle in a garage or secured area if you have one. Alarms, lighting and CCTV can also help to deter thieves.
Other ways to protect your vehicle include:
- •buying and fitting a protection device specifically to cover the catalytic converter
- •installing motion-activated lighting if you park your vehicle on a driveway, but if this isn’t possible, park it in a well-lit, busy area
- •using your vehicle’s alarm or installing a Thatcham approved alarm, which should activate if the vehicle is tilted or lifted
- •ensuring your dashcam is set to detect movement
- •looking out for anyone ‘working’ or acting suspiciously under vehicles (particularly in busy car parks)
- •avoid parking half on and half off the pavement as this makes it easier for thieves to access underneath the vehicle
In addition, if you are going to be visiting somewhere for a long period of time (e.g. a supermarket), we would advise you to park so it is difficult for thieves to lift your vehicle. Marking kits are available which can assist police investigations as converters can be tracked back to the vehicle they came from if located. Please call 101 to report any incident and always dial 999 if you see a crime in action.