Rampaging criminals cash in on unlocked Ottery cars

PUBLISHED: 18:00 24 August 2010

Emergency Police Services

Emergency Police Services


Resident rumbles thieves on late-night spree

A STARTLED Ottery resident rumbled criminals posing as drunks who targeted cars on a late-night thieving rampage.

Torch-light wielding crooks described as ‘shadowy figures’ stole cash, bags, mobile phones, I.D cards and satellite navigation systems from unlocked vehicles in the Ridgeway and Chapel Lane areas.

One victim was woken by the sound of her car door opening at 4am and challenged suspect figures seen “skulking” around the area with torches at 3am the following morning.

The suspects, believed to be men, claimed to be drunk when approached- then fled.

A 999 call prompted police to race to the scene and search the area, but the men had vanished.

Neighbourhood beat manager PC Phil Thomas has urged residents to avoid heartache by not making life easy for criminals by leaving cars unlocked with valuables inside.

“Ottery is fortunate in that theft from motor vehicles rarely occurs,” he told the Herald.

“It is possible the community has become complacent and we would always urge you to remove items from your vehicle and lock it.

“There is no doubt these individuals covered a large area trying their luck on insecure car doors, and they have stolen a large amount of property because the victims made it easy for them. Without exception, all the vehicles were unlocked.

“Furthermore, the victims will rarely be covered by car insurance in these circumstances.”

“On the first occurrence one suspect appeared to be standing guard while the other was walking away from the vehicle.

“The same victim sighted two ‘shadowy figures’ with torches skulking around a car in Chapel Lane the next night. She challenged them and they claimed to be drunk.”

The overnight theft incidents happened between Sunday, August 8, and Monday, August 9, with four vehicles in Ridgeway, Ridgeway Gardens and Chapel Lane targeted.

Contact police with information on 08452 777444, crime reference number: KO/10/480.

If you value what this gives you, please consider supporting our work. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald