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Security advice for rural building sites after burglaries

Last modified: 4 June 2019 at 03:25pm

Builders and engineers are being urged to be extra vigilant, after a number of thefts from sites in rural areas of North Yorkshire.

Overnight between 29 and 30 May 2019, offenders targeted a building site on Church Lane, Wheldrake, breaking into a welfare unit and stealing lifting chains, a power lead and 200 litres of red diesel.

Between 6pm on 1 June and 8am on 2 June 2019, a building site on Market Weighton Road in Barlby was targeted. A digger’s side window was smashed, a quantity of diesel was stolen from a JCB loader, and the welfare unit on site was broken into.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: “By their nature, building sites in rural areas are vulnerable and attractive targets for criminals.

“That means it’s really important to take extra security measures. Wherever possible, keep vehicles, plant and power tools in a secure and well-lit area, preferably a garage or outbuilding. Consider CCTV, fuel cap alarms, cages and other security measures.

“Even simple techniques like ‘defensive parking’ – parking vehicles against solid objects on the fuel tank side to prevent access – can have a strong deterrent effect.

“Also, get your property security-marked. Permanent marking, like a ‘dot peen’ mark, will deter thieves, as it makes the equipment far harder to sell on. It will also be much easier for us to return it to its rightful owner if it is lost or stolen, and could provide vital evidence to secure a prosecution.

“The equipment on building sites can be worth many thousands of pounds, which is why it’s so important to keep it safe and get it security-marked. We want the message to go out to would-be burglars that targeting sites in rural areas of North Yorkshire is simply not worth the risk.”

Pioneered by North Yorkshire Police, dot peen marking involves using a tungsten carbide-tipped pin to indent an object with dots to create a visible, permanent unique number. The unique number is entered onto the national Immobilise property register database. Speak to your local Neighbourhood Policing Team or Rural Taskforce officer to find out more about the service, which is available for free to residents and businesses across North Yorkshire.

Police enquiries into the burglaries are ongoing, and the victims have been offered advice by North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce. If you have any information about either incident – such as recent suspicious activity in the affected areas – please dial 101, quoting reference number NYP-30052019-0069 for Wheldrake or NYP-02062019-0190 for Barlby.

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