7 arrested after rural thefts

8 December 2010, 17:52

Hertfordshire Police arrested seven people and recovered a haul of property they suspect was stolen in a spate of burglaries of outbuildings and barns in rural North Herts.

Fifty police officers were involved in carrying out seven search warrants on December 1st at addresses in Northfields, Dunstable; Spinney Crescent, Dunstable; Timberland Travellers Site, Slip End, Luton; Orchard Close, Houghton Regis and Cow Lane, Dunstable.

Seven people from Bedfordshire were arrested:

Two 18 year old men from Dunstable
A 34 year old man from Slip End
A 21 year old man from Dunstable
A 35 year old man from Slip End
A 15 year old youth from Dunstable
A 16 year old youth from Dunstable

All have been police bailed until next week on suspicion of conspiracy to steal.

North Herts Chief Inspector Neil Ballard said: “This operation clearly demonstrates that Hertfordshire Constabulary is committed to tackling cross-border criminals committing theft and burglary and we will continue to proactively target this in North Herts.

“North Herts does have specific Safer Neighbourhood Teams in our rural areas who are there to offer advice and support to people in rural communities. You can find out who your local officer is by ringing 0845 33 00 222 or by going to our website www.herts.police.uk and clicking on ‘Safer Neighbourhoods’.”

The following crime prevention advice will help you to protect your equipment: -
Implements and Tools
• When possible, lock tools and small items of machinery inside a secure building.
• To prevent the theft of batteries, tools and accessories, avoid leaving tractors and other farm implements in fields.
• Keep valuable machinery away from public roads when not in use.
• Consider making a secure cage or structure for smaller items which should be sited within a secure and alarmed building.
• Record the make and serial number of power tools - an up-to-date inventory is vital.
• Mark or stamp easily removed items with your postcode, followed by the first two letters of your farm’s name, or other identifying marks.
• Four-wheel drive vehicles, trailers, caravans and quad bikes can all be a target for thieves. There are many anti-theft devices available such as alarms, immobilisers and tracking systems.
• Lock your vehicle and use security devices. Trailers and horse boxes are particularly vulnerable.
• Where possible, secure them inside a garage or similar building.
• Mark them and make them unique – use large letters on the roof. Record serial/chassis numbers and photograph them.
Fuel Thefts
Pumps should have locking devices and/or isolator switches and, where possible, they should be housed in a secure location.
Field Gates
• Field gate hinges should be of the capped or inverted type to prevent easy removal.
• Make regular checks to see if they have been tampered with. If you believe they have been tampered with, contact Hertfordshire Constabulary on the non-emergency number 0845 33 00 222.
• Mark gates to make them unique to your farm.
• Gates that are locked with good quality chains or padlocks are more difficult to steal