Police in Derry have urged local people to be vigilant after heartless criminals stole laptops, jewellery and even a child’s shoes in four burglaries in the city over the past few days.
On Saturday last, sometime between 5pm and 10.40pm, a house in Hollymount Park in Gobnascale was broken into and a sum of money and jewellery was taken.
Crime prevention doesn’t have to be expensive; indeed the first step costs nothing and involves nothing more than making sure that all the windows and doors are closed and properly locked, each time you leave your house- even if you’re in the back garden.PSNI Inspector Tony Moore
On the same day, sometime between 6pm and 10.25pm, another house in the same street was broken into. At this stage, it is not believed that anything was taken during this incident.
The PSNI have confirmed that the two burglaries are being linked.
Meanwhile sometime between 6pm on Friday last and 1pm on Saturday, a house in the Elm Close in the Curryneirin area of Derry was broken into.
A television, a games console, a laptop and a pair of children’s shoes were stolen.
A sum of money, a set of car keys and some jewellery was taken from a house in the Mill Path area of Eglinton, sometime between Thursday 27 August and Sunday 30 August.
Inspector Tony Moore said: “I would appeal to anyone who knows anything about these incidents, or who noticed any suspicious activity, to contact Strand Road Police Station on the non emergency number 101. Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Inspector Moore continued: “I would also appeal to all householders to take steps to protect their homes.
“It is important that householders take sensible precautions to deter those involved in this type of crime.
“Crime prevention doesn’t have to be expensive; indeed the first step costs nothing and involves nothing more than making sure that all the windows and doors are closed and properly locked, each time you leave your house- even if you’re in the back garden.
“If you are going on holiday, cutting the grass, cancelling milk and paper deliveries and, if you have a glass front door, asking a relative or trusted friend to lift the mail so that it cannot be seen piled up on the floor are other measures that cost very little but help to create a scene that implies you are still at home. And, don’t forget to let police know that your house will be vacant.
“Making use of timer switches is another inexpensive way to give your house that ‘lived-in’ look not only when you are away on holiday but every time you are out after dark, but remember to use the timer switches to turn lights on in rooms that would normally be occupied when you are at home.
“A single hall light or an unlit house with an outside light on is a bit of a giveaway and will not go unnoticed. For added effect why not use a timer to switch on a radio?”
“An alarm can also be useful when you are at home and can be used to thwart ‘creeper burglars’ who break in while you are asleep. Setting appropriate zones of the alarm system when you retire at night will alert you the presence of an intruder and will deter them from venturing any further.
“Keeping your car keys with you in the bedroom will also help to prevent burglars driving off in your car in the middle of the night.
“Looking after your belongings is what it is all about, and it is a good idea to keep a note of serial numbers, and to indelibly mark your property in a way that makes it unique to you. This makes it more difficult for criminals to re-sell your possessions, and it also makes it easier to identify your property, in the event it is stolen and subsequently recovered.”
He added: “Being a good neighbour is again something that costs nothing but is one of the best deterrents, as criminals and thieves can’t operate if they know their every move is being watched. As it only takes a few minutes to commit a burglary, the importance of promptly reporting of all suspicious activity to the police should be obvious.
“I would also ask anyone who notices suspicious activity in their neighbourhood to call us immediately as this could prevent someone from becoming a victim of crime.”