Police issue safety advice following creeper burglary incidents
Police in Newry are reminding householders to be vigilant against creeper burglaries following a number of incidents where high end vehicles have been stolen with keys taken from properties.
A spokesman for Newry PSNI told Newry Times, “A large number of the burglaries we deal with are opportunist where thieves have made the most of a window or door left opened or a shed or property left insecure.
“While we conduct patrols, respond to reports of suspicious activity and deliver crime prevention, everyone can play their part in taking proper precautions with their home and property.
“We would advise all householders to review their security. If your doors aren’t secure, neither is your house.
“Make sure your doors are strong enough for the job, and fit mortise deadlocks, door chains and viewers and make use of them when you receive an unexpected knock at the door.
The spokesman continued with some key advice to ensure people do not become victims of crime. “Keys should not be left hanging in the back of doors, take them out and put them somewhere out of sight. Thieves will check for this and, if your keys are hanging inside the door, they will break the window and lift the keys.
“There is a good chance your car keys will be on the same key ring. They will take your car if they have the keys. Keep your doors and windows locked whether you are at home or not and establish a bedtime routine which involves checking them just before you retire for the night.
Putting locks on your windows will also deter would be burglars according to the PSNI. “Whether you have wooden, metal or UPVC window frames in your home there are a variety of locks available that are suitable for all window types.
“If your window does not already have a keyed lock fitted, then consider having them fitted, particularly on ground floor windows or upper windows that may be easily accessed from a flat roof. Don’t leave spare keys outside or in a garage/shed. Ensure they are kept out of sight and put in a secure place in the house if possible.
Using timer lights and radios if you are away from home overnight will create the impression that someone is in, the spokesman advised. “Keep sheds and garages closed and locked and don’t leave bicycles or other items lying in the garden when not in use – put them away.
“It is equally as important for neighbours to look out for each other. The chances are that if a criminal targets one house in a particular estate they may try your neighbour or someone else a few doors up.
“You know who lives on your street so if you see someone acting suspiciously note down any important details such as a description or car registration and contact police. We will follow up on your call and there is every possibility your information could prevent a crime.
The police spokesman added, “Prevention is key to addressing issues such as burglary. Your local Crime Prevention Officer will be only too happy to call out to your home or have a chat on the phone about how you can take steps to better protect yourself and your property. They can be contacted on 0845 600 8000.”
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