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Warning as Aireborough is targeted by travelling criminals
9:23am Thursday 10th October 2013 in Local news
Police are stepping up action to thwart travelling criminals who have been targeting two parts of Aireborough.
Neighbourhood Policing Team officers are concerned about the number of shed and garage break-ins in the Tranmere Park area of Guiseley and on streets near the JCT600 roundabout, on the A65/A658 at Rawdon.
There have been 12 outbuilding burglaries over the past four weeks, with most concentrated in those two areas and involving the theft of often high-value bicycles.
Police began leaflet-dropping residents this week to warn them of the threat, with follow-on visits by PCSOs and representatives from CASAC (Community Action & Support Against Crime).
Evening patrols are being stepped up too, but Inspector Richard Coldwell, of Aireborough and Wharfedale Neighbourhood Policing Team, says householders could also do more to protect their property.
He said: “When you look at the incidents there are two distinct areas where the shed burglaries are quite concentrated.
“We believe they are being committed by travelling criminals who are sticking to places where there are good quality houses, with lots to steal, near the main roads.
“So we are increasing patrols in the evenings and overnight along the A65 corridor to try to stop them and, with CASAC, leafleting these areas. We’re going to follow that up with a doorknock where we’ll be encouraging people to consider upgrading their security, especially on their sheds and garages.
“Since cycling really took off last year we are seeing a lot of expensive bikes being stolen, but it isn’t uncommon to see people keeping £3,000 cycles in £300 sheds secured with only a £3 padlock. The thieves have realised this. We also have concerns about the internet apps cyclists are using, which can show their location and log their movements, and would urge them to be careful with the type of information they share.”
Insp Coldwell hopes the doorstep visits will result in residents taking up not-for-profit organisation CASAC’s offer of a free home security check, or contacting a locksmith and improving the security of their outbuildings if needed.
He is also urging householders to get in touch if they spot any suspicious behaviour.
Insp Coldwell said: “We rely on the community to alert us to problems by reporting them. I would also ask anyone who is offered a good quality bike for a very cheap price to get in touch with us.”
Chief executive officer of CASAC, Neil Goldup, said: “We often overlook our garage or garden shed. These outbuildings can be home to thousands of pounds worth of equipment, tools and appliances as well as our bikes, cars and motorcycles. Protecting your property doesn’t have to be an expensive job, but securing our garden sheds and garages is well worth it for peace of mind and home security.”
The policing team can be contacted by calling 101.