Victims tell of burglary hell

Bournemouth Echo: The victims' ransacked home The victims' ransacked home

A couple have spoken of their horror after their home was ransacked by burglars.

The Dorchester couple were targeted by opportunist burglars in June this year while they were away on holiday.

Today one of the victims has spoken about the devastating impact of the crime on him and his wife. He has also released photographs of their trashed home to support Dorset Police’s Countdown to Christmas burglary campaign.

The offenders gained access to the victims’ Dorchester home by smashing their way through a locked utility door.

They upturned every room in the house before stealing a Mercedes car from the driveway and items of jewellery.

The 65-year-old victim said: “I was really shocked when I found out. We have never been burgled before and moved to Dorset because it was a safer place to live.

“They upturned every room in the house, even the attic. This type of crime never leaves you. Whenever we return from holiday the key goes in the door and we wonder what we are going to find inside.

“The burglary also had quite an impact on our neighbours. A number of them are elderly and it really upset them to know this had happened so close to home.”

The victim said he has increased security at home by having an alarm fitted, moving the padlock on the gate and putting prick-strips at the top of each gate. He also moves valuables to a locked cupboard which opens outwards.

“We had always been quite thorough about locking up and shutting all the windows but the offenders gained access by smashing a glass door.

“You cannot stop burglars striking but everyone can take steps to keep these people away. Make sure you lock up, put on the alarm, put valuables in a safe place and take all keys out of doors and windows.”

John McDonald, Ryan Whitton and Reece Webb, all aged 24 and from North London, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle at addresses in the Dorset, London and Hertfordshire areas. Whitton was jailed for three years. McDonald and Webb are due to be sentenced on 20 January 2014.

Dorset Police say burglary crime traditionally increases in Dorset during the festive period, with a marked rise in the number of crimes committed in December and January compared with October and November.

Detective Inspector Richard Dixey, of Dorset Police’s Priority Crime Team, is calling on residents to take some simple crime prevention steps to make sure burglars don’t ruin their Christmas.

He said: “Ensuring valuables and presents are not left on display and making sure that all windows and doors are securely locked when leaving the property will reduce the chances of being burgled.

“Burglaries tend to increase over the festive season due to the longer hours of darkness and because criminals know people will have valuables and presents in their homes.”

DI Dixey says members of the public with devices such as iPads, smartphones and laptops should consider downloading tracker apps.

Dorset Police will be using a range of tactics in a bid to reduce burglaries across Dorset over Christmas and New Year – under the banner of Operation Castle.

DI Dixey continued: “We will be stepping up patrols in vulnerable areas and working with neighbourhood and community groups to ensure the crime prevention message gets out to all residents.

“Not only will we be targeting burglars over Christmas, we will also be targeting handlers of stolen goods.

“Anyone offered high value items at cheap prices by an individual should contact Dorset Police.”

Students are also being reminded to ensure their digs are locked up and secure when they return home for Christmas.

They should: • Ensure all windows are closed and that doors are locked • High value items such as TVs, laptops, computers, tablet devices, cameras, games consoles and jewellery are all favourite items for burglars – don’t leave them behind • Ensure bikes are securely locked away, or taken home • Make sure shed doors and garden gates are fitted with good quality locks.

You can follow the Countdown to Christmas campaign on Twitter @dorsetpolice and looking out for #DPXmasCountdown.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:52am Wed 4 Dec 13

ziggystardust says...

Hmm, it's obviously no coincidence they were on holiday at the time. You can add to that list, don't post(boast) on Facebook about forthcoming holidays.
Hmm, it's obviously no coincidence they were on holiday at the time. You can add to that list, don't post(boast) on Facebook about forthcoming holidays. ziggystardust

11:32am Wed 4 Dec 13

annotater says...

The other issue that used to happen was the bottles of milk on the door step and post on the floor in the hall way. Best thing to do is make sure milk is cancelled and the post office will for a small fee hold your post until you return. Put an automatic lamp in one or two of the rooms so they come on intermittantly during the night. Make sure your neighbours are aware!
The other issue that used to happen was the bottles of milk on the door step and post on the floor in the hall way. Best thing to do is make sure milk is cancelled and the post office will for a small fee hold your post until you return. Put an automatic lamp in one or two of the rooms so they come on intermittantly during the night. Make sure your neighbours are aware! annotater

12:09pm Wed 4 Dec 13

common cence says...

One of them got 2 years , A ten year jail term would help ,
One of them got 2 years , A ten year jail term would help , common cence

1:29pm Wed 4 Dec 13

rjimmer says...

So, a gang from north London knew someone in Dorset was on holiday. Sounds like there could be a network of people who sell this sort of information.
So, a gang from north London knew someone in Dorset was on holiday. Sounds like there could be a network of people who sell this sort of information. rjimmer

2:56pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Bollard says...

"High value items such as TVs... – don’t leave them behind" I always take my 37" TV with me when I go out!
"High value items such as TVs... – don’t leave them behind" I always take my 37" TV with me when I go out! Bollard

11:05pm Wed 4 Dec 13

scrumpyjack says...

Nothing to say other than the people from this story have my sympathy and empathy; I would say to them that you are extremely unlucky and as easy as it is to say I hope you can both 'move on' from this.

As stupid as it seems to say it, you have moved to a very, very safe part of the world and never forget that.

(Just read the Echo and the stories that often make the headlines and you will be reminded of that often!).
Nothing to say other than the people from this story have my sympathy and empathy; I would say to them that you are extremely unlucky and as easy as it is to say I hope you can both 'move on' from this. As stupid as it seems to say it, you have moved to a very, very safe part of the world and never forget that. (Just read the Echo and the stories that often make the headlines and you will be reminded of that often!). scrumpyjack

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree