Appeal following two burglary incidents in rural west Cheshire Date published: 29th May 2019 12.01pm

Detectives investigating two burglary incidents in rural west Cheshire are appealing for information and footage from members of the public.

At some point on Bank Holiday Monday or in the early hours of yesterday morning, Tuesday 28 May, two outbuildings were broken into at a farm on Pump Lane in Churton, Chester.

A Yamaha quad bike and a quantity of tools were stolen from the outbuildings, with the offenders using a small trailer to transport them to a field behind the farm.

The stolen quad bike and tools were transported away from the field via other means.

Over the bank holiday weekend offenders also attempted to break into one of the units at Hampton Heath Industrial Estate off Chester Road near Malpas.

They failed to do so and fled after causing damage to the unit and several cars parked outside it.

A dry powder fire extinguisher was sprayed inside some of the cars.

There is currently no evidence of the incidents being linked, though detectives are keeping an open mind.

Detective Sergeant Danielle Knox, of Chester Local Policing Unit (LPU), said: “Enquiries in relation to the two incidents are ongoing and we are appealing for anyone with any information or CCTV or dashcam footage that may be relevant to our investigations to get in touch.

“Perhaps you think you may have seen, or have footage of, whoever was responsible for the burglary at the farm in Churton or the attempted burglary and criminal damage at an industrial estate in Hampton Heath near Malpas.

“Or maybe you have been offered the chance to buy a Yamaha quad bike since one was stolen from the farm in Churton.

“If you have any information or footage that may aid our investigations please contact the team here at Chester LPU.”

Anyone with information or CCTV footage that may be relevant to the ongoing investigations should call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, quoting IML 413081 (Churton incident) or IML 413075 (Hampton Heath incident), give the details via https://cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Dashcam footage can be submitted online at www.cheshire.police.uk/advice-and-support/roads-and-vehicle-safety/submit-dashcam-footage.

DS Knox added: “I would like to take this opportunity to remind anyone living or working in and around Chester to be vigilant and to make it as difficult as possible for criminals to break into their homes, outbuildings and businesses.

“They can do this by following our anti-burglary advice.”

The force’s tips for deterring would-be burglars include:

Homes and vehicles

  • Ensure that all windows are closed and doors are locked at your property, even when you are at home or in the garden
  • Use security devices, such as steering locks, to keep vehicles secure
  • Never leave your car keys, house keys, purse or wallet on display near a door or window
  • Use the security measures on modern windows, which allow them to let some air in but still be locked
  • Keep all valuables out of sight of prying eyes
  • Always avoid keeping large amounts of cash in your home
  • If you are replacing or fitting new doors and windows, get ones that are certified to British Standard BS7950 (windows) or PAS 24-1 (doors)
  • Fit mortise locks (Kitemarked BS3621) to all front and back doors, as well as locks to all windows which are easy to reach
  • Have a burglar alarm fitted, but make sure that it is installed properly and works.

Outbuildings

  • Never leave a garage, shed or other outbuilding unlocked and easy prey for opportunist thieves
  • Fit strong padlocks to outbuilding doors and make sure that the doors are solid enough not to be kicked in
  • Good external security lighting can put off or draw attention to a thief – the most appropriate form is high efficiency low energy lighting controlled by a dusk-to-dawn switch so that it only comes on when it is dark
  • If you have external security lighting that comes on when sensing movement, make sure that the lights are directed downwards to prevent them from being annoying to neighbours and dangerous to passing traffic
  • Strong fencing or gates will make it difficult for intruders to get onto your land
  • Solid fences or walls, particularly those with a flat or rounded top, are relatively easy for a burglar to climb over – fixing trellising to the top can make it more difficult
  • Check for weak spots where a thief could get onto your land, such as a low or sagging fence or a back gate with a weak lock
  • A thorny hedge along the boundary of your property can put thieves off, as can gravel areas due to the noise of walking on them.

Businesses

  • Be aware of people loitering near your premises
  • Be suspicious of people in vehicles watching the business, particularly if this happens more than once
  • Be alert for the unusual, such as people looking nervous and anyone showing unreasonable interest in security or staff numbers
  • Check the identity of non-customer visitors, such as alarm engineers, surveyors etc, and call the organisations they claim to represent before allowing access
  • Encourage staff to think critically about weaknesses in security and discuss them with management
  • Seek advice from specialist insurers and brokers
  • Keep as little cash as possible in the premises
  • Do not count cash within the view of anyone else
  • Locate any tills away from entrance/exit doors – this lessens vulnerability to till snatches
  • Transfer excess cash to somewhere safe – you do not need a large number of notes in tills
  • Restrict access to the rear of counters by always securing lockable doors and counter flaps
  • If large amounts of cash need to be banked or collected on a regular basis, the safest method is to employ a recognised cash carrying company
  • Consider extra security equipment such as plastic till guards, smoke and dye money packs, a pneumatic cash transfer system, external access and time delay safes, counter caches, anti-bandit or bullet resistant glass and fast-rising screens.