Dorset couple speak of horror at ransacked home as police warn of festive spike in burglaries (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Dorset couple speak of horror at ransacked home as police warn of festive spike in burglaries
A DORSET couple have spoken of their horror after their home was ransacked by burglars.
The couple were targeted by opportunist burglars while they were away on holiday.
The victim has spoken about the devastating impact of the crime on him and his wife and also released photographs of their trashed home to support Dorset Police’s Countdown to Christmas burglary campaign.
The offenders gained access to the victims’ home by smashing a door and then 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.”
John McDonald, Ryan Whitton and Reece Webb, all aged 24 and from North London, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burglary at addresses in the Dorset, London and Hertfordshire areas.
Whitton was jailed for three years and 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.
Detective Inspector Richard Dixey, pirctured right, of Dorset Police’s Priority Crime Team said: “Ensuring valuables and presents are not left on display and making sure that windows and doors are 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.”
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. We will be targeting burglars as well as handlers of stolen goods. Anyone offered high value items at cheap prices by an individual should contact Dorset Police.”
Tips for home safety
- Dorset Police is offering the following advice this festive season.
- 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 locks.
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