Lock it or risk losing your prized possessions Date published: 5th April 2017 10.09am

Officers from Runcorn Local Policing Unit are urging residents to lock it or risk losing their prized possessions.

Over the past few weeks 15 incidents have been reported across the town – these have seen vehicles, sheds, garages and out buildings being targeted.

In the majority of these incidents vehicles and buildings have been left insecure – providing an easy target for thieves.

Chief Inspector Sarah Heath said: “It is really important that residents remain vigilant and security conscious. This applies not only to your home but your car, shed, garage and any other outbuildings that you own.

“It is imperative that these are kept safe and secure – otherwise you run the risk of them being targeted.

“Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to opportunist thieves, so please take the time to check you have taken all of the necessary security measures.”

Residents are urged to take a few simple security steps at home:

• Make sure all your doors and windows are locked and secure
• Consider using a timer to set your lights and radio to come on while you’re out
• Don’t leave valuables including purses, handbags and car keys on display or near external doors
• Consider security marking valuable items with your house number and postcode with a UV pen, or mark it using property marking kits which consist of a traceable liquid to forensically mark valuables
• Ensure that garages and sheds are locked with strong padlocks and, ideally, fitted with an alarm
• Consider installing outside lights - dusk till dawn lights with a low wattage bulb will give a constant light when needed. They switch on as it gets dark and turn off when it gets lighter

Drivers are being urged to:

• Ensure their vehicle is locked and secure when it is unattended − even for a brief moment
• Remember to activate the alarm and/or steering lock
• Remove any valuable items − such as mobile phones, laptops and cash − from the vehicle. Do not be tempted to hide them in the glove box or under seats
• Remember to remove the sat nav and the fascia of car stereos − ensure you detach the cradle
• Ensure you wipe away the mark from the windscreen that has been left by the suction pad − as this is a tell-tale sign for thieves that a sat nav is being used in the vehicle
• Try and park in well-lit areas where there are a lot of people around

CI Heath added: “We need the continued support of the local community in tackling this type of crime. I would urge residents to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity in their area to the police immediately.

“If you see anyone acting suspiciously or any suspicious vehicles please call 101 and report it. Information can also be left anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.”