Sidmouth Police brand opportune burglars despicable

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:29 18 June 2010

BURGLARS are targeting the homes of seriously ill and recently deceased Sidmouth residents, adding to the misery of their loved ones. Police have issued a warning following the latest burglary in Sidmouth over the weekend, where the house had been empty f

BURGLARS are targeting the homes of seriously ill and recently deceased Sidmouth residents, adding to the misery of their loved ones.

Police have issued a warning following the latest burglary in Sidmouth over the weekend, where the house had been empty for days on end.

The address in Ashley Crescent was broken into between Thursday, June 11 and last Monday.

Entry was gained through the back garden and £200 worth of damage was caused.

Police say there have been six similar burglaries in the last six to eight months, where the owner of the house may be in hospital or has recently died.

Sergeant Andy Turner, of Sidmouth Police, said: "From our point of view these crimes are despicable. They target people who are vulnerable or families who have already suffered a loss.

"They are already going through a traumatic time and a small amount of people are willing to exploit this and make their lives a further misery."

Officers are mounting extra patrols in 'at risk' areas but say public vigilance is essential in catching these opportune criminals.

It was thanks to a member of the public that a suspect was apprehended for the Salcombe Hill burglaries and police are urging residents to report any illegal or suspicious activity.

Sergeant Turner added: "Ring 999 at the time. We don't mind how many calls we get and we would much prefer people to ring at the time rather than reporting it at a later date."

He also urged people who are the key holder of an empty house to make daily checks and to inform the neighbours they have a key.

People who are leaving their houses empty for long periods of time are advised to put their valuables in a secure place and to 'burglar proof' their house by installing an alarm and coding property with a UV pen.

Anyone with information about the latest burglary is being urged to contact the police on 08452 777444.

* For more information on crime prevention contact Sidmouth Police Station and make an appointment with a PCSO.


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