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12 March 2012, 16:25 | Updated: 12 March 2012, 16:31
Police are warning residents in Hatfield to lock up their homes properly after a string of burglaries in the town.
Seven burglaries have occurred between February 22 and March 7 in and around Millwards, with laptops being predominantly stolen.
Welwyn Hatfield Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector, Ian Grout said: “We believe these incidents are linked and our Local Crime Unit is working hard to determine who is responsible.
“I’m appealing to residents living in the area to contact police if you believe you may have witnessed any of these incidents take place. I’d also ask people to remain vigilant and contact police if they witness anything out of the ordinary.
“It is possible the offenders are local so I’d urge anyone who has any information about who is responsible to pass on this information to police or through Crimestoppers anonymously at the earliest opportunity.”
If you have any information about these crimes or who may be responsible, please contact police via the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Inspector Grout added: “These burglaries serve as a reminder of the importance of ensuring your property is secure and to be aware of simple crime prevention advice, such as double locking your UPVC door.”
The incidents are:
· A burglary in Millwards, between 11pm on Wednesday 22 February and 7am on Thursday 23 February. The offender(s) gained entry by forcing open the front door, and carried out a search and took a laptop, mobile and a handbag. (Crime reference B2/12/693)
· A burglary in Millwards, on Thursday 23 February. The offender(s) had used an unknown tool to gain access via the front door and stole an item of clothing. (Crime reference B2/12/692)
· A burglary in Garden Avenue on Thursday 1 March between 1am and 7.30am. The offender(s) gained entry via the front door and made off with a laptop and a wallet containing money. (Crime reference B2/12/814)
· A burglary in Garden Avenue on Thursday 1 March between 10am and 4.30pm. The offender(s) gained access via an unsecured door. A laptop and purse were stolen. (Crime reference B2/12/837)
· A burglary in Millwards on Wednesday, 7 March between 7.30am and 1.00pm. The offender(s) gained entry by forcing through the wooden panel on the front door, carried of the search and made off with jewellery, laptop and two digital cameras. (Crime reference B2/12/901)
· Attempted burglary in Millwards on Wednesday 7 March between 8.05am and 5.50pm. (Crime reference B2/12/900)
· A burglary in Cheviots, Hatfield at 8.10am on Wednesday, March 7. The offender(s) gained access to the front of the property, carried out a search and made off with a laptop and a purse stolen (Crime reference B2/12/891)
Residents are asked to take note of the following crime prevention advice:
· Make sure you double-lock any UPVC doors by lifting the handle and locking it (to engage the security features) before you go to bed or leave your home (if you remove the key make sure you have a fire escape plan).
· Check all doors are locked and all windows, including those upstairs, are secure before you go out
· Secure your rear garden - lock your shed, shut and lock any gates and keep fences maintained. Don’t leave ladders and tools outside - they could be used by a burglar
· Use timer switches on lamps to give the impression somebody is at home
· At home, keep all loose valuables out of sight of any would-be thieves.
· Post code marking your valuables with a UV pen and registering them on a free property database like www.immobilise.com can work as a deterrent to thieves and can increase the chances of your property being recovered if it is stolen.