Officers in Craven issue an appeal after sports clubs and Crematorium targeted by thieves
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Officers in Craven are asking local sports clubs and those who tend communal garden areas to be vigilant to thieves who seem to be targeting the area and stealing gardening equipment.
Over the past month a number of venues have been broken into and valuable items like ride-on lawnmowers stolen.
- Sometime between over the weekend of Friday 7 to Monday 10 July Carleton Football Club was targeted and a lawnmower stolen.
- The week after, overnight on Monday 17 to Tuesday 18 July a lawn mower, strimmer, leaf blower, and a metal ashes urn spreader was stolen from Skipton Crematorium.
- And sometime overnight between Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 August, Bradley Cricket Club have also been broken into and a Husqvarna ride-on lawnmower stolen.
Speaking about the thefts, Police Constable Sharon Leverton from Craven Community Safety Hub said,
“Being broken into and having property stolen is a horrible, invasive crime which understandably leaves victims feeling angry and upset at being targeted in this way.
“What’s particularly upsetting about this spate of thefts is that these venues all provide valued services to the community, particularly the Crematorium. To steal items which are used to tend to the resting places of loved ones is particularly low.
“The Local Neighbourhood Policing Team will be patrolling in the affected areas to provide a visible deterrence to thieves. But there are also some steps that can be taken to protect expensive gardening items and make your shed or outbuilding a difficult target for those looking to break-in.”
“It might sound strange but, think like a thief.
"Look at your shed and consider how you would break in. It’s worth having a good padlock on the door with no exposed screws. Pay attention to hinges, as these are sometimes easily removable. If you have windows, then these could be vulnerable unless they’re secured with wire mesh or grills. And keep it locked at all times.
“Consider a battery-operated shed alarm. They look low-key but they respond to movement or door contact with an extremely loud siren. Lighting is always a good deterrent too, something that activates if it picks up movement outside.
“And as ever, lock it, hide it or mark it. Don’t give thieves the opportunity or the tools to commit a crime. Lock everything away securely. Tools can be locked inside a locker or box and consider property marking expensive items. That way if we recover it, we can return it to you.”
If you have any information about the burglaries mentioned above or any CCTV or doorbell footage which would be of assistance to the investigations, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 select option 4 and speak to our Force Control Room quoting