Residents in Surrey Heath are being advised to be vigilant to security following a number of burglaries and attempted burglaries in which garages have been targeted.
Offenders have stolen motorcycles, bicycles, mainly those of high value and tools in the incidents in the Deepcut, Camberley and West End areas. The offences have happened in overnight raids from Sunday onwards and the Safer Neighbourhood Team is urging householders to ensure garages are securely locked.
The borough’s Crime Prevention Advisor John Eldridge said the incidents in which units in a block of garages have been broken into has demonstrated that some factory fitted locks on up and over doors appear to easily be opened.
He said: “Most standard garage doors do not have security locks and residents should consider fitting a further security device such as a ‘Garage Defender’ or as a cheaper option fit two shoot bolts to the door, ensuring that bolt beds into the frame or concrete base. Secure the bolt with a grade three external padlock and this will then provide a much more secure locking system.”
Two men’s mountain bikes valued in total at £2,700 were stolen overnight from Drifters Drive in Deepcut sometime between Monday, 20 May and Tuesday, 21 May. In this offence the burglars caused £100 worth of damage whilst trying to get into the garage. In a further incident which happened sometime between Sunday evening (19 May) and Tuesday morning (21 May) in the same block no damage was caused and nothing was stolen but the garage door was discovered partially open with the lock tampered with.
An overnight raid on a garage in the vicinity of Guildford Road, West End saw more than £5,500 worth of cycles stolen. Five bikes were removed from the facility sometime between 8.30pm on Monday (20 May) and 1.10am the following morning (Tuesday, 21 May). Two of the bicycles were recovered in a nearby alleyway and the remaining machines are outstanding.
Mr Eldridge is recommending that members of the public follow security advice in marking property and making items more difficult to remove. He said:
“The contents of sheds and garages can mount up to thousands of pounds and a little time spent on improving security could save a huge cost and the inconvenience of having to replace items and repair damage. Items such as tools, garden furniture, lawnmowers and bicycles should be marked permanently and prominently with name, postcode and house number or using a DNA property marking system such as SelectaMARK. This should deter thieves by making items less easy to dispose of and identifiable for an owner of recovered.
“Sheds and garages should be secured with good padlocks and items inside should be padlocked or fixed to a secure point. This is particularly applicable at this time of year when the warmer weather sees people working outdoors thus using their sheds and gardening equipment more often. Ladders should always be locked away too or locked to a secure fixture with a close shackle padlock or heavy duty chain.”
Surrey Police recommends the following to protect your property and yourself from becoming a victim of crime:
Most house alarm systems can be configured to provide coverage to garages using ‘wireless’ connections. If this isn’t possible standalone ‘Shed alarms’ are also available
Consider the use of ground anchors and cables. Using a large cable to link several items together will make them more difficult to steal, padlocking the cable to a ground anchor will provide additional protection.
There are a number of security marking schemes available for cycles ranging from electronic Datatags (similar to pet microchips) to chemical etching
Ensure that you property mark items of value stored in the garage and record serial numbers. There is a free web based service available at http://www.immobilise.com/