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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Police warning over jewellery thefts

Residents throughout North Wales are being urged to keep their jewellery secure as thieves target homes for high value gold and silver items.

In recent months burglars have targeted homes in search of valuables, sometimes targeting the same addresses more than once.

The thieves have posed as tradesman or scrap metal merchants and have knocked on doors to see if anyone is at home. 

They then return later in the day, usually when the homes are empty, break in and steal valuable jewellery.

Suspects have also been known to park near the home of a potential victim waiting for the residents to leave.

Their tactics often include forcing entry though windows and patio doors, making extremely untidy searches of all rooms and attic spaces, adding to the distress of victims.

Detectives are actively targeting those responsible and enquiries are on-going, but North Wales Police are urging all residents to be aware of the tactics used by criminals and to take steps to keep their valuables as safe as possible.

As part of the awareness campaign the force has produced an advice leaflet in English, Welsh, Bengali and Urdu.

Detective Chief Inspector Alun Oldfield said: “This has been identified as an issue in North Wales, particularly in the Wrexham, Flinthshire and Denbighshire areas and officers have been out and about giving advice to residents on how to best protect their property.

“The thieves responsible are well organised and some are travelling into the area from further afield to target residents.  It is vital, therefore, that we all work together to make life as difficult as possible for these criminals.

“There are a number of simple steps you can take to help protect your valuable jewellery:
  • Ensure that your jewellery is insured.
  • Keep good records – make a list and include photographs. 
  • Keep jewellery in a safe and secure place when it is not being worn – thieves have been known to look everywhere in the home for valuable items.
  • Consider installing a safe if your jewellery is particularly valuable – ensure it is securely fitted to a permanent structure such as a solid wall or floor.
  • Consider removing your valuables from the home and keeping them in a safety deposit box.
  • Make sure all windows and doors and kept locked – especially when you are out.
  • Ensure your home looks ‘lived in’ – even if you are out.  Consider using timer switches for lights to give the impression that someone is at home.
  • Try not to advertise when you will not be at home and always use lights on timers to give the impression you are home at night, even if you are not
  • Other security measures such as a home security alarm or security marking system can deter thieves from targeting a property.
  • Be wary when answering the door to unexpected or uninvited visitors and always ask to see identification.  If you are unsure of the validity of the caller then contact the organisation they are claiming to be from.  Genuine callers will not mind you doing this. If you have concerns about any cold callers, contact the police
  • Report suspicious behavior.”
* Anyone with any information about this type of crime should call North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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