Thefts from outbuildings – advice

Officers in the west of the New Forest are investigating thirty-five burglaries from outbuildings that have taken place over the last month.

Between Monday, April 18, and Monday, May 16, fifteen reports were received for the Lymington and New Milton areas and twenty in total for Ringwood and Fordingbridge.

We believe that some of the burglaries from sheds, garages and other outbuildings are linked. In many cases garden equipment, power tools, and bicycles have been taken.

In one case an outbuilding on West Road in Bransgore was broken into last Sunday night (May 15-16) and £15,000 worth of power tools, including a disc cutter and circular saw, were stolen.suspicious-call-the-police-watch-out-there-s-a-thief-about-british-poster-1960s

Inspector Richard Parsons said “Please ensure that your outbuildings are kept secure and not an easy target for thieves. In addition ensure that expensive equipment is properly secured with items such as ground anchors and chains. Chaining items together is also an effective way of preventing thieves from removing equipment.

“Remember to keep accurate details of your property including serial numbers and identifying marks, and, wherever possible photographs. This will assist the us in returning items to you if they are recovered.

“I’d also urge the local community to report any persons or vehicles acting suspiciously in the New Forest to us by calling 101”.

We’d like to take this opportunity to remind you of the following crime prevention advice:

General home and outbuilding security

• Keep the boundaries of your property well-maintained and secure to keep out unwanted visitors
• Ensure all doors and windows are shut and locked when not in use.
• Ensure windows and door frames are in good repair.
• Fit adequate locks to sheds, garages and outbuildings and consider fitting shutters or grilles to windows, or blocking them completely
• Fit good quality window locks
• Consider fitting a monitored home intruder alarm
• Check security equipment regularly to ensure it works properly.

Security lighting

• Install automatic security lights that come on at dusk and go off at dawn.
• Help make your property look occupied by fitting timer switches to lamps in different rooms and set them to come on at staggered times.
• Make sure the manufacturer’s instructions are adhered to at all times when using electrical security devices.

CCTV and intruder alarms

• Consider installing CCTV to provide formal surveillance to the most vulnerable areas of the property.
• Consider installing an audible and monitored intruder alarm system.

Equipment security

• Leave vehicles out of sight when not in use.
• Vehicles and plant equipment should be locked when left outside and the keys kept in your possession or in a locked key safe.
• Consider the use of hitch locks, wheel clamps or ground anchors. You may require a combination of the above to meet insurance requirements.

Security marking

• All property, including vehicles and tools, should be uniquely marked, photographed and details such as serial, chassis and model numbers recorded.

The purpose of marking property is:

• To reduce the payoff to the thief – traceable property may be more difficult to sell on
• To increase the likelihood of identifying property as stolen – thereby assisting prosecution
• To increase the likelihood of re-uniting property with the owner

There are a number of methods for marking property effectively.

• Covertly – for example through use of Forensic DNA marker as liquid, gel or grease; UV pen; tracking or tagging technology; micro-marking.
• Overtly – by engraving/chemical etching; labels; postcoding or use of bar codes.

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