A crime wave has hit Garstang – with burglaries rife across the area.
Compared to this time last year, the amount of burglaries has doubled but police have moved to assure residents they are on the case.
Burglary is such a selfish thing to do and an invasion of privacy and we want to catch these peoplePolice
But Sgt Danielle Freaney of Garstang and Over Wyre Police says it isn’t one culprit.
She said: “At this time last year we’d had five burglaries but this year there’s already been 10. It’s definitely not the same people because looking at the burglaries they’re very different.
“Some are opportunistic and in other, things like crow bars have been used to prise open a window. That said there are still patterns emerging and we are in the process of analysing footprints to help us catch the offenders.”
The incidents have occurred in Great Eccleston, Garstang, Catterall and Carnforth and Sgt Freaney admits the time of year makes catching burglars much harder.
She said: “Because it’s cold, everyone is wearing lots of clothes, hats and gloves and that’s exactly what a burglar will wear. So if they come out onto the street after going into a house they can quite easily conceal what they have taken in the layers of clothes without drawing any attention to themselves because they’re wearing the same as other people. In summer they stand out more.”
And Sgt Freaney has offered advice to homeowners to avoid becoming a victim of similar crimes.
“Having CCTV of course helps, but even simple things like having a burglar alarm and having valuable hidden away will help,” she said. “It can be tempting to have things like jewellery all in one box on the table ready to put on but it also makes it very easy to take for intruders. Studies show burglaries last around 90 seconds and they’re taking what they can see and not searching too much. Having things with sentimental value in a different place to other valuables can also help. It’s just being aware of crime prevention, locking your doors and windows when you go out and reporting any suspicious activity to the police.
“Burglary is such a selfish thing to do and an invasion of privacy and we want to catch these people.”