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Police warning on spate of burglaries in west Dorset
HOMEOWNERS are being warned to be extra vigilant following a surge in burglaries in west Dorset.
The average for the area is normally two a month but there have been 17 in the last eight weeks.
Insp Mike Darby, whose section covers Lyme Regis , said police were making it their top focus but urged the public to help.
He said: “Our message is that while we know who is committing these offences and are making it our number one priority to stop and arrest them, we really urge people to help prevent these crimes happening in the first place.
“People should make sure that windows are closed downstairs, lock doors and not leave valuables in sight through windows.
“They steal things that are easy to get away with, wallets and jewellery and TVs and laptops.
“The dwellings have all pretty much been opportunist ones where people have gone to bed and left ground floor windows open or doors left unlocked.”
“These people are just walking the streets looking for opportunities.”
Insp Darby said that there has been no suggestion that the thieves are violent.
He added: “There has been no violence offered at all but of course it is upsetting and disturbing for people to know that people have been in their house especially while they have been asleep.”
Last week police chased a silver VW Passat they believed was involved in the night-time burglaries.
It later crashed into a parked car and was set on fire at the entrance to Fir Tree Close in Salway Ash in the early hours of last Friday morning.
Police believe the Passat, which was unregistered, was one of a pool of unlicensed and unregistered vehicles used in the current crimes.
A fire crew from Bridport attended just after midnight and doused the flames.
Insp Darby said: “We are getting on top of these people. We are visiting them almost on a daily basis, telling them we know who they are and we know what they are doing “However we still need the help of residents to stop them by giving them the opportunity of committing easy offences.”
He said although the figures showed such a dramatic increase burglaries were still vary rare and well below the national average.
Thieves have been targeting homes in the Marshwood area.
Insp Darby said: “In relation to the Marshwood area we have had four we believe are linked.”
People are urged to contact Bridport police station by calling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 with any information.
- Bridport Police have arrested four men in their 20s and 30s who are on bail pending further enquiries. They have charged one man with burglary in the Yeovil area.