Police ask communities to be vigilant following spate of burglaries in south Lakeland

Police are increasing patrols across south Lakeland following a rise in house burglaries in recent months.

Officers are taking the measures to deter offenders and help prevent any further burglaries.

They are also asking the public to be vigilant and follow simple security tips to help prevent any further properties being targeted.

The incidents have happened in rural towns and villages across south Lakeland.

There have been 16 reports since September last year.

These include burglaries in Dent, Sedbergh, Allithwaite, Grange, Kirkby Lonsdale, Holme, Burton-in-Kendal, Beetham, Levens, Storth and Arnside.

Detective Inspector Lee Brumpton said: “We believe that most of these offences have been committed by the same people using the same method.

“They target empty houses between the hours of 4.30pm and 9pm.

“They are targeting premises at this time in the early evening as they can look at the properties and see if anyone is in, looking to see if there are no lights on and often no car on the drive.

“From the incidents reported to us suspects have been targeting jewellery and cash predominantly – but have also been known to steal cars.”

Detectives suspect burglars use a vehicle, park up – and then walk around on foot looking at houses. They target homes that look unoccupied.

DI Brumpton added: “I would strongly advise residents not to have large amounts of cash within their houses and ensure valuable items of jewellery are in secure places.

“I would urge you to report all suspicious incidents, including suspicious vehicles and people in the area.

“Also if anyone has picked up any suspicious incidents on their private CCTV, dashcam or Ring doorbell, I would ask them to come forward.

“Something that may seem insignificant could be vital to the investigation.

“If you have any information or see anything suspicious around your home or your neighbours, please contact us.”

Anyone with information in relation to burglaries can report online at www.cumbria.police.uk/report-it. You can also phone on 101.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

What can you do?

Some simple, basic tips include:

·         Locking doors and windows before you go out and ensuring that your house and keys are secure.

·         Removing keys from locks and keeping them out of reach, not on a hall table, hiding any vehicle keys in a secure place.

·         Ensuring side gates and sheds are locked with a good quality lock.

·         Keeping cash and valuables locked away safe or well hidden.

·         Considering increasing your security with good quality locks, CCTV and chains.

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