Protect your property against thieves

Police are urging local residents to be on their guard to break-ins to sheds, garages and homes. Car keys are being taken so cars can be stolen.
Police are urging local residents to be on their guard to break-ins to sheds, garages and homes. Car keys are being taken so cars can be stolen.

Unfortunately my column this month is returning to something that has been covered before, namely the issue of break-ins to garages, sheds and houses, writes Chief Inspector Kenny Simpson.

Over the last few weeks there have been a number of incidents that have resulted in the theft of various items of personal property and vehicles.

In the past cars were stolen by “hot wiring” the ignition, however, modern car security is much tighter and the easiest method is to steal the keys from within the home. As a result I would again urge everyone to consider his or her security arrangements.

To protect sheds and a garages good padlocks and security lighting is very effective and acts as a deterrent. I believe the most successful technique is the audible alarm and there have been very recent and local examples of people being disturbed and failing in attempts due to the sound of an alarm.

Audible shed alarms are available cheaply online and at DIY shops and can be a very shrewd investment when compared with the replacement cost of a mountain or road bike.

There have, however, also been recent and local examples of situations that have made the thieves’ job easier, for example, when people have left their doors unlocked. Everybody should be able to leave their back door open without fear but thieves are opportunistic and will take advantage of any lapse.

I would therefore advise that you adopt a routine each night involving some very basic checks to ensure the doors are locked and any ground floor windows are secure and your car keys are not left in plain sight.

I would like to assure we are aware of this emerging issue and all officers in Midlothian are actively patrolling the area 24 hours a day but we would also ask for your help in targeting the problem. If you see anyone acting suspiciously, especially overnight, to report what you see using the 101 system or 999 if appropriate.

If you have any information at all in relation to any crime in Midlothian I would urge you to contact us direct or by using the anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.