DETECTIVES have launched an appeal for information following a spate of burglary incidents in South Warrington which they suspect are linked.
Offenders attempted to gain entry to a shop and four houses in the Grappenhall and Stockton Heath areas between 10pm on Saturday 17 April and 6am on Sunday 18 April.
Car keys were stolen from one of the houses and the burglaries are believed to be linked.
Two young men were seen acting suspiciously in the areas when the incidents took place. They were white and were wearing hooded tops.
One of them had his hood over his head and the other was wearing a baseball cap.
Enquiries in relation to the incidents are ongoing and detectives are urging anyone with any information or footage that may help their investigation to get in touch.
Detective Constable Ian Morris, of Warrington Local Policing Unit (LPU), said: “Thankfully, the only thing that was stolen were the car keys.
“However, being targeted by burglars is a very distressing experience, whether the incident occurs in your home or at your business premises.
“We are determined to establish who committed the offences in the Church Lane, Chester Road and Thelwall New Road areas of Grappenhall and the Victoria Road and Ellesmere Road areas of Stockton Heath and make them face the consequences of their actions.
“We believe that the incidents are linked and that the offenders were walking around the areas looking for insecure properties to steal from.
“If you were in the areas between 10pm on Saturday 17 April and 6am on Sunday 18 April and witnessed anything suspicious, please let us know.
“Perhaps you think you saw the offenders, or have dashcam footage of them.
“I also ask anyone with CCTV cameras in those areas to check their footage to see if it shows anything that may be relevant to our investigation.
“We also want to hear from anyone who thinks they may know who the burglars are.”
Anyone with information or footage that may aid the investigation is asked to call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, quoting IML 966664, give the details via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The force’s tips for protecting properties and deterring burglars include:
•Ensure that all windows are closed and doors are locked at your property, even when you are at home or in the garden
•Never leave your house keys, car keys, purse or wallet on display near a door or window
•Use the security measures on modern windows which allow them to let some air in but still be locked
•Keep all valuables out of sight of prying eyes
•If you are replacing or fitting new doors and windows, get ones that are certified to British Standard BS7950 (windows) or PAS 24-1 (doors)
•Fit mortise locks (Kitemarked BS3621) to all front and back doors, as well as locks to all windows which are easy to reach
•Have a burglar alarm fitted at your home, but make sure that it is installed properly and works
•Good external security lighting can put off or draw attention to a burglar – the most appropriate form is high efficiency low energy lighting controlled by a dusk-to-dawn switch so that it only comes on when it is dark
•If you have external security lighting that comes on when sensing movement, make sure that the lights are directed downwards to prevent them from being annoying to neighbours and dangerous to passing traffic
•Strong fencing or gates will make it difficult for burglars to get onto your land
•Solid fences or walls, particularly those with a flat or rounded top, are relatively easy for a burglar to climb over – fixing trellising to the top can make it more difficult
•Check for weak spots where a burglar could get onto your land, such as a low or sagging fence or a back gate with a weak lock
•A thorny hedge along the boundary of your property can put burglars off, as can gravel areas due to the noise of walking on them.
•Be aware of people loitering near your premises
•Be suspicious of people in vehicles watching the business, particularly if this happens more than once
•Be alert for the unusual, such as people looking nervous and anyone showing unreasonable interest in security or staff numbers
•Encourage staff to think critically about weaknesses in security and discuss them with management
•Seek advice from specialist insurers and brokers
•Keep as little cash as possible in the premises
•Do not count cash within the view of anyone else
•Locate any tills away from entrance/exit doors
•Transfer excess cash to somewhere safe – you do not need a large number of notes in tills
•If large amounts of cash need to be banked or collected on a regular basis, the safest method is to employ a recognised cash carrying company
•Consider extra security equipment such as plastic till guards, smoke and dye money packs, a pneumatic cash transfer system, external access and time delay safes, counter caches, anti-bandit or bullet resistant glass and fast-rising screens.