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This message is dated Friday 17th January 2020 - Maidenhead

Alert message sent 17/01/2020 11:18:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

This message is dated Friday 17th January 2020 for Maidenhead.
There is an epidemic across the Thames Valley.  Another 4 stolen on Tuesday, mainly in Maidenhead, but one in Ascot.  More on Wednesday and Thursday.  The cars targeted - Honda Jazz, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius and now 2 Lexus’ as well.
  1. Always park in rearwards against a wall / garage door.  This makes it harder for the thieves to jack the rear of the car up and get underneath.
  2. Listen.  This is a very noisy operation as they have to cut through the metal exhaust pie in front and behind the catalytic Converter, which then drops off.  It only takes a few seconds, but cutting through the metal with a small cordless angle grinder / saw, is noisy - particularly in the early hours.
  3. Phone us if you see or hear either of the above.  In the reported cases, several of the owners woke up and heard the noise, but didn’t know what it was, so went back to sleep.  NOW YOU KNOW !
  4. Remain Alert - wherever you are, because some of these thefts are taking place during the day.
There is a marking scheme.  You can have a plate attached to the Cat Converter, so that if it is stolen, it can possibly be identified and connected to your car - I am investigating that option.  Unfortunately, it wouldn’t stop the Cat being stolen, as the thief will not see the plate until afterwards !
EYES AND EARS OPEN PLEASE.  If you see a car with it’s rear jacked up in a residential location let us know.  Often these are stolen openly during the day, so if you hear an angle grinder / saw attachment, let us know.  It only takes seconds !


I have had this in from Jeff:
Hi Jeffrey
Regarding high performance vehicles having trackers built in I presume you refer to BMW connected drive. I have this and thought it a good system but there are plenty of videos on YouTube explaining exactly where this tracker is fitted. There are also videos of cars that have been stolen and within 1/4 of a mile the tracker found by the side of the road as its installed in an easy to access location. As a result I'm not renewing my subscription to the service but installing a market leading tracker which they fit to random locations within the car and nowhere near the factory fitted device.
The problem with anything factory fitted is standardisation. Thieves use YouTube extensively to prepare before committing thefts of high value vehicles.
I asked Jeff If I could put his email out.
Hi Jeff,
Yes that's fine. Just don't want people having the same false sense of security I did.
NEXT:  from Honor Ryan at Trading Standards:
Morning Jeff
This weather has provided the perfect conditions, for people to require roofing work (or be made to think they do!)
We have been made aware of some fliers that have been posted around the Borough in relation to roofing and guttering works.  Yesterday this was around Old Windsor – one of the businesses, appears to be legitimate, but one is not and we are looking into this.
Please advise your readers, not to immediately contact any business that makes unsolicited contact with them, without first looking into whether or not, the business has provided a valid address and that they are actually, registered with any bodies they make claims about - e.g. Checkatrade.
Then, if they wish to go ahead, make sure they ask for a full written quotation and 14 day cancellation notice, before any work begins.
If any payments are to be made, this should be on completion of the job only and for the original agreed price only, nothing more.
It might be worth attaching our advice leaflet to your alert also.
Thank you
Honor Ryan
RBWM Trading Standards Service

The leaflet is copied out at the bottom of this message.
15/1  Wednesday 8 p.m. / 9 p.m.  Pub Car Park, Bath Road.  Car window smashed - no entry gained and nothing stolen.
15/1  Wednesday 9.40 p.m.  Station Approach.  Car badly keyed.
15/1  Wednesday 2.30 a.m. / 3 a.m.  All Saints Avenue.  The owner heard grinding noise in the night.  In the morning they found their catalytic converter had been stolen from a Toyota Prius.
14/1 - 15/1  Tuesday 5 p.m. / 12.30 p.m.  St. Marks Road.  Catalytic converter stolen from under a Toyota Prius.

15/1  Wednesday 6.45 p.m. / 10 p.m.  Pub Car Park, Littlefield Green.  Car passenger window smashed - LAPTOP, external hard drive, handbag and contents and mobile stolen.
16/1  Thursday midnight / 8 a.m.  Odney Lane, Cookham.  Car rear windscreen smashed and searched - LAPTOP stolen.
15/1  Wednesday 10.10 p.m.  Furze Platt Road.  Catalytic converter stolen from under a Lexus RX300.
17/1  Friday 9.05 a.m.  Clare Road.  The aggrieved saw two men outside his house trying to kick in the front door.  They also had tools and a jemmy with them.  When they realised they had been seen, they immediately ran off.
16/1  Thursday 3.15 a.m.  Rutland Road.  The owner was awoken by a grinding noise and looked outside.  They saw two men standing near his car holding a pole and a drill.  He immediately called 999.  The police attended and carried out an area search, but no-one was located.  The catalytic converter had been stolen.
15/1 - 16/1  Wednesday 12 noon / Thursday 10 a.m.  Rutland Road.  Catalytic converter stolen from und a Honda Jazz
15/1  Wednesday 7.45 p.m. / 7.50 p.m.  Brayfield Road, Bray.  Car entered and searched - LAPTOP stolen.
16/1 Thursday 1.30 a.m.  Pamela Row, Ascot Road, Holyport.  The owners child was disturbed by a noise in the night.  In the morning they found the catalytic converter had been stolen from under their Mitsubishi Grandis.
15/1  Wednesday 8 a.m. / 4 p.m.  Braywick Road.  Van break - hand saws and hand tools stolen.
Please consider using our online reporting system but please note this reporting tool is not for use where a crime happening right now, the suspect is still at the scene, or anyone seriously injured or in immediate danger.
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Eyes, ears.....and Brain

Over the last few months, NHW in Maidenhead has seen a resurgence in interest and activity.  Existing schemes have been revitalised and new schemes have been set up with many new members joining and are helping make a difference to the community by creating, for us all, a safer place to live. 
To find your nearest NHW scheme please go to
Simply enter your postcode and join.
Alternatively, you could start a Scheme yourself, in your own street. Just sign in, register and map your area, or contact the Scheme Administrator for Maidenhead,  John Diack at
Trading Standards Leaflet:
 Advice from The Royal Borough of
Windsor and Maidenhead Trading Standards and Thames Valley Police
Not sure? Don’t open the door!
Do you get people calling at your door offering to do odd jobs, or something more expensive such as roofing work or building? Then be aware - there are many rogue traders around who will try and charge you an extortionate amount whilst doing little, if any, work.
Bogus callers try to get into your home or obtain personal details by pretending to be someone they’re not, including council staff, charity collectors, meter readers and police officers. In reality, they are criminals trying to steal money and valuables.
Rogue traders usually cold-call, claiming to be workers offering to sell services, make repairs or carry out work on your house, garden or driveway. In reality they charge inflated prices for shoddy or unnecessary work.

Our simple, clear and consistent message is:
How can I spot a Rogue Trader?
  • They may tell you the work is urgent and needs to be carried out immediately.
  • To give you false confidence they might lie that they have been working in the local area, claim to work with or on behalf of the Council, claim that all work is fully guaranteed.  Remember a guarantee from a rogue trader is worth nothing.
  • They may say there is some material left over from another job, or they can do the job cheap as a special price if you agree now.  This is to rush you into making a poor decision.
  • They will normally ask for payment there and then and may offer to come to the bank with you if you don’t have the cash at hand.
What else can I do to stop being defrauded by a Rogue Trader?
The advice from the Police and Trading Standards is that you should never buy at the doorstep
  • If you have to deal with traders at home, whether you invited them or not, remember these important rules;
  • Don’t feel pressured into agreeing to immediate work or buying a product or service.  Take your time.  Ask neighbours and friends for recommendations. Do you need the work to be done?
  • Shop around and always get written quotes from at least two traders..
  • Ask what your cancellation rights are. You have 14 days to cancel any purchase of goods or services over £42 that you make in your home.   Only in a proper emergency situation can you agree for work to start straight away (such as water pouring through your ceiling).
  • Always agree the price, payment arrangements and start/finish dates in writing before any work starts on your home
  • Don’t pay cash up front or offer to go and get money.
You don't have to pay in full until you're completely satisfied with the work and you could consider using stage payments throughout the job.
Keep your home and belongings safe during works.

  • If you agree to buy any goods, or agree to services such as roofing or home maintenance, you must be given a fourteen-day cooling off period during which you can change your mind, and this must be given to you in writing.  if you don’t get this the trader is committing a criminal offence and you should report them to Trading Standards.
  • If the trader does not comply with these rules you do not have to pay for the service.
  • If you feel threatened or intimidated in any way you should phone the Police immediately.
Useful Contacts – Consumer Protection
For urgent matters;
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Trading Standards Service:
01628 683802
For general advice on all consumer issues or to report non-urgent matters: Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline: 03454 04 05 06
Useful Contacts – Police and Action Fraud
You should always call 999 when it is an emergency, such as when a crime is in progress, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.
For non-emergency telephone 101
Action Fraud
0300 123 2040

Message sent by
Jeffrey Pick (Police, Community Engagement & Resilience Officer, Windsor & Maidenhead LPA)

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