Here is the latest update from the Didcot Neighbourhood Team.
We have had a few vamoose burglaries in Didcot. A ‘Vamoose’ burglary is a name used by Thames Valley Police for a burglary that takes place specifically to the steal the keys to a high value or new vehicle. Vamoose burglaries usually happen overnight when the occupants of a property are in bed asleep or whilst the home owners are away on holiday. Thames Valley Police would like to raise awareness as there has been a spate of recent offences across our Local Policing Area (LPA). Recent offences have involved the offenders forcing entry to properties via the front door or a rear patio door. The ground floor of the property is then searched for the car keys. Typically, vehicle owners leave their car keys near to the front door or within a bag or coat pocket. The offenders will take the keys along with other nearby valuables such as phones/wallets, they then leave in your car! We are keen to prevent further offences and would like to offer you the following crime prevention advice:
- Hide your car keys away from windows and doors or take them up to bed with you.
- If you are planning on going on holiday or will be leaving your property unoccupied for a period of time, consider leaving your car keys with a trusted neighbour or relative and where possible block your vehicles on driveways.
- Ensure your doors and windows are locked, if you have a chain on the inside of your door, use it. Please see the home security leaflets enclosed for further useful advice.
Between the 8th and 10th February there have been a number of theft from motor vehicles reported in the Didcot area targeting tools, each incident has been recorded and assessed by a police officer. CCTV provided to us has been viewed, again by a police officer and not deemed of evidential value for identifying suspect. Where there are lines of enquiry an officer will attend and conduct a further investigation.
Didcot and Wallingford Neighbourhood team have responded by visiting individuals on our area with a theft related offending history, increasing patrols in the area and going door to door in some of the areas affected; offering crime prevention advice and signing people up to Thames Valley Alert.
We recommend the removal of all valuables from vehicles when parked up. There are also benefits from improving locking mechanisms and ensuring your vehicle is fitted with an alarm. Simply backing your vehicle up to a solid surface such as a brick wall will also help. Ensure tools are marked with your postcode and you have a record of serial numbers to improve the chances of returning them to you and making it more difficult to sell them on.
If anyone has any further CCTV or information about these specific offences or about anyone they suspect may be responsible for crime in the area please contact 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously.
The neighbourhood team have put posters and leaflets around Didcot to raise awareness of this crime. Purse bells have been left at charity shops and you are welcome to pick one up just ask a member of staff, these bells are free of charge. Do make sure that whilst you are out shopping your bag is zipped up and your purse is not on show. Do not have your bag in your shopping trolley as people often get distracted whilst shopping and leave the trolley unattended whilst they are looking or picking up an item.
Between 4th and 8th March 2019 is Rural Crime week of action. This is pretty much business as usual on our policing area but there will be different Operations running throughout the week.
Knife crime awareness week
Knife crime awareness week runs between 11th – 17th March 2019 as a team we will be doing talks at schools and leafleting in Didcot. We will also be working closely with British Transport Police (BTP) and doing some work around the train station.
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