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Crime Update Friday 27th January 2017 - Maidenhead

Alert message sent 27/01/2017 16:35:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

This message is dated Friday 27th January 2017 for Maidenhead.
Hi Jeff,
Just an update on letter box thieves.
I spoke with the post man today, he confirmed he had been approached on a road, Sunningdale by two Asian men in a black Ford Fiesta, asking if he had any mail for a particular House" (there is no house by that name in the road, but there is one with a very similar name).  This made him suspicious.  He only managed to get a couple of digits of their number plate unfortunately, but he reported it to his boss back at the sorting office, who hopefully reported it to the police.
The postman also mentioned that he was aware of another neighbour in two other roads, who had had an issue with their mail.
Thanks for making people aware.
NEXT – a very useful publication from the Thames Valley NHW Association, which covers most aspects of Home security – you may want to circulate the link to your friends and neighbours:
This Burglary message went out in Windsor – but it is useful for everyone as a reminder !
25/1  Wednesday 9.35 p.m. Eton Wick Road.  Burglary.  The aggrieved went out leaving the doors locked, the house in darkness and the curtains open.  When she returned, the curtains were closed and lights were on.  When she entered, she saw muddy footprints and evidence of an untidy search.  She immediately left and called the police, in case the offender was still inside the house – EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING TO DO – I WOULD HAVE GONE FURTHER - AND DIALLED 999 FROM OUTSIDE THE HOUSE, WHEN I FOUND THE LIGHTS ON.  I WOULD NOT HAVE PUT MYSELF AT RISK, BY ENTERING THE HOUSE !  The police attended immediately, as it was a possible ‘Crime in progress’,  The offender had left, but they found a rear window had been forced with tool marks around the frame.  Items from the windowsill inside, had been placed in the garden.  There had been an untidy search of the whole house and it is believed cash and Swarovski costume jewellery had been stolen.  The thief gained access to the rear of the house possibly via an INSECURE side access.  Could this crime have been avoided ?  Possibly.  1. The house had been left in darkness, with the curtains open.  Anyone walking along the road, could have ‘felt’ the house was unoccupied and by walking up to the front door, seen no-one was at home through the window.  The simple solutions ?  First: – leave some lights on and close the curtains.  Which lights to leave on ?  Not a kitchen / hallway, with doors left open to allow light to penetrate other rooms.  That is a clear indication – YOU ARE OUT AND THE HOUSE IS EMPTY’.  A RING ON THE DOORBELL, WOULD CONFIRM THAT.  When you house is occupied, on a normal night – simply go outside and see what it looks like from the outside and what lights are on.  Those are the lights which must be left on, whenever you go out and it will be dark when you return.  YOU MUST MAKE YOUR HOUSE LOOK OCCUPIED AND MATCH THE NEIGHBOURING HOUSES.  If you have kids – the chances are, that will be every light in the house !  They have developed the necessary skills to turn lights on, but not yet evolved sufficiently, to learn to turn them off !  Second: A ‘FAKE TV’. I have been pushing these for years now and below, is a link to Amazon.  These are a small box of multi coloured LEDs, which simply flicker !  They look exactly the same as a TV in the house and give it life and movement.  It means that possibly someone is at home and has chosen, not to answer the door.  They have an automatic setting – winter / Summer, as well as a light sensor.  You set it for 4 hours in the summer, or 7 hours in the winter.  It comes on automatically and goes off after the set time, so it is plug in and leave.  As it is made with LEDs, the electrical consumption is minimal,  They are placed in a upstairs, front facing room and will even flicker, around the edges of drawn curtains.  Third – Timers on side lights, to come on and off – AND – a radio, left on a talk station.  That could be you talking to someone, if they listen at the letterbox. Fourth:  A BURGLAR ALARM.  This is the biggest defence to an opportunist thief.  Generally we don’t have any real ‘Burglars’ - who target specific houses for specific valuable items.  They know who they are going to burgle in advance, what they have in the house and what they want to steal.  If you do not have a collection of valuable antiques, furniture, paintings or collections of porcelain etc, you will be the victim of an Opportunist Thief.  Someone walking around looking for a home, where someone has made a mistake and left a window open, or who is obviously out – hence the information above re leaving lights on.  They look at the types of cars on the driveway and the type of house.  Opportunist Thieves, know little about alarms and will avoid them, if at all possible.  Occasionally they will smash a window, to see whether an alarm has been set – often if there is evidence of a pet – a cat / dog flap !  All modern alarms are now wireless, pet sensitive and can be zoned.  They are very simple to operate with a fob, in the same way you lock your car !  It must be set every time you leave the house and particularly - you must set the ground floor zone - when you go up to bed.  Make it a habit.  They are now much cheaper, easier to fit, being wireless and very simple to use.  If you cannot afford an alarm, or live in an area where you have heard about alarms, but it may take some time to get one fitted – do the basic and put up a dummy box !  If everyone else in your road has an alarm box on the outside of their houses, who is the opportunist thief going to pay attention to ???  The house without a box, easy side access and what appears to be, a lack of security awareness. CCTV is a secondary defence for use afterwards, to provide evidence of what has happened.  Our Opportunists are very CCTV savvy – hence the hoodies !  Alarm first !
If you can do nothing else, polish up those door locks !
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
26/1 – 27/1  Thursday 2 p.m. / Friday 7 a.m.  Norfolk Road.  Car driver’s side window smashed.  Nothing stolen.
25/1  Wednesday 9.30 a.m. / 5.30 p.m.  High Street.  Bike left locked up outside a shop stolen.  A black, Carrera Subway 1, hybrid bike.
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
27/1  Friday 10 a.m.  Bell Court, Hurley.  Distraction burglary. A man in a hi Viz jacket rang the doorbell and said he had come to check the house for damp, as the flashing on the chimney was damaged.  THE OWNER LET HIM IN !  He asked her to make him a cup of tea, while he checked the upstairs.  After he had left…………she found jewellery had been stolen !  Everyone should know the rule by now and have spread it to all their friends / neighbours / relatives and work colleagues:
25/1 – 26/1  Wednesday 4 p.m. / Thursday 7 a.m.  Hockett Lane, Cookham.  Garage break.  Side door forced – Not sure if anything stolen.
25/1 – 26/1  Wednesday 7 p.m. / Thursday 8.45 a.m.  Camley Park Drive.  Metal garden gate lifted off its hinges and windows in a greenhouse smashed.  Newly planted holly bushes damaged.
15/1 – 27/1  Heywood Avenue.  Window  damaged and a small hole made, possibly with an air rifle.
25/1 – 26/1  Wednesday / Thursday  Gardner Road.  Double glazed window smashed, -possibly an attempt to break in.
27/1  Thursday midnight / 11.35 a.m.  Camden Road.  Car rear windows on both sides smashed. And damaged driver’s side window.
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
25/1 – 26/1  Wednesday 10 p.m. / Thursday 7.50 a.m.  Bray Court.  Car driver’s side window smashed.  No entry or search.
25/1 – 26/1  Wednesday 9 p.m. / Thursday 5.10 p.m.  Holyport Road.  Van driver’s side widow smashed – thorough search front and back.  Assorted power tools stolen.
FIRST – from Jason:
He has received two emails purporting to be from the ‘Microsoft Account Team’:
The first says that they can see he has some suspended emails, as he is using an old version of Outlook…..If he clicks on the link, he can get an updated version !!!
The second, received a short time later, states that they can see he has not clicked on the link and is still operating the old system.  It goes on to say – failure to do this by a certain date, will lead to his account being permanently shut down.
All scam emails follow the same pattern:
  1. They can see from or have access to, your account – They cannot, this is a lie - it is totally random. As with the fake bank emails from companies, you do not bank with.
  2. A LINK and a reason, to click on it.
  3. A timescale to do this – it will be urgent to panic you to do something, without taking time to think.
  4. A threat – there will be consequences if you don’t do it – again to panic you.
If an email has these characteristics BIN IT
NEXT from Mark:
Hi Jeff,
My girlfriends parents live in the Booker area of High Wycombe and her Mum was walking home, when a man in a van, stopped her and asked if she would like to buy an Orthopaedic Mattress - or two.
The guy said he was from a bed shop in Slough and was delivering them to an address that couldn’t take them, so he would sell them for a lot less than their supposed retail value.
On Googling this I’ve found that it’s a scam where the mattresses are old/worn and may have just been repackaged to look new. Some don’t even meet fire standards.
Please can you warn your readers to be aware of this so that they don’t fall for it.
Thanks Mark, there are dozens of these scams including carpets – ‘we have been to an exhibition and have this carpet over’ – to leather jackets – to paintings, TVs.  You name it scammers will try to sell rubbish from vans.  There was a case which caused quite a stir a few years ago.  Men would park up in large supermarket / DIY store car parks and offer ‘knock off’ perfumes.  The scare that went around was that it was not perfume in the bottles but a form of ether.  The men would spray the perfume and ask women to smell it.  It would render them unconscious.  They would then be abducted in the back of the van.  We never ever heard of a real case, but it spread like wild fire over the internet, via Facebook and other social media.
I have not heard one of these scare stories for a long time.  Perhaps people realised they were ‘fake news’ and didn’t forward them onto friends.

In the case of the TVs, sold from the back of vans in car parks. They were at least TV’s, not as sometimes happens, empty boxes with bricks inside – as has happened !  They were though, all broken !  The scammers would legitimately buy nice looking, ex hire / broken TVs.  The marketing ploy, was that they were top of the range – which they were…...but ‘stolen’, no questions asked, going really cheap !  So there was a ‘legitimate’ reason, a £2,000 TV, was being sold for £100.  People accepted that as a valid excuse for a bargain and flocked to buy them.  When they got home, they found they didn’t work, but found it difficult to say anything or complain to the police, as they had knowingly purchased a TV, believing it to be stolen property !  The perfect scam !
Dear Jeff,
I too have received a phone call purporting to come from HMRC, with almost identical message as reported by others.
I was out and my call came through to my Answerphone.
Keep the good work, your bulletins I find very helpful and a reminder not to take phone calls at face value, And to keep one’s eyes open for strange activities in the neighbourhood.
Thanks Michael – whenever these come through, just delete them.
NEXT:  Theft of post:
Hi Jeff.
Re: Thefts from letter boxes.
Perhaps it is a good time to ask Royal Mail to advise their postmen to push the mail right through letter boxes.
Like many other Neighbourhood Watch areas, we have the Thames Valley Police 'No Callers' sticker on our door, along with the request to 'Push Mail Right Through' and 9 times out of 10 it is completely ignored - as can be seen by a stroll around the area.  It is a give-away to the opportunist !
Your view?
Kind regards
Eyes and ears.....................and brain
Message sent by
Jeffrey Pick (Police, NHW & Community Msg Co-ordinator, Windsor & Maidenhead LPA)

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