Message from Sgt Paul Flynn, Warrington West Beat Sgt
“There has been a rise in burglaries in which family gold seems to have been targeted in Cheshire in recent months.
"We believe that those responsible are highly organised and are possibly travelling into the county from further afield to target properties they believe are likely to contain gold.
“It is therefore crucial that the police, its partners and residents work together to make life as difficult as possible for the criminals.”
There are a number of simple steps you can take to help protect your valuable jewellery:
- Make sure that all your windows and doors and kept locked, especially when you are out.
- Ensure that your home looks ‘lived in′, even if you are out. Consider using timer switches for lights to give the impression that someone is at home.
- Keep jewellery in a safe and secure place when it is not being worn − thieves have been known to look everywhere in homes for valuable items.
- Ensure that your jewellery is insured.
- Keep good records of all the jewellery that you own − make a list and include photographs. If your jewellery is stolen this will make it much easier for it to be identified as yours should it be recovered.
- Consider installing a safe if your jewellery is particularly valuable. Ensure it is securely fitted to a permanent structure such as a solid wall or floor.
- Security measures such as a home security alarm or security marking system can deter thieves from targeting a property.
- Be wary when answering the door to unexpected or uninvited visitors and always ask to see identification. If you are unsure of the validity of the caller then contact the organisation they are claiming to be from. Genuine callers will not mind you doing this.
- Consider signing up to Operation Shield − property can be marked with a unique forensic liquid which links it with your home, meaning that if it is taken police can return it to you when it is recovered.
- Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity at your neighbours’ properties when they are out or away.
- Report any suspicious activity to the police.
Anyone with any information about the incidents in Widnes or Warrington or any other burglaries in which gold seems to have been targeted is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For more advice on keeping your home safe and secure visit www.cheshire.police.uk or call 101 and ask to speak to your local crime reduction advisor.