Police appeal following 15 Brentwood burglaries

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- Credit: Archant

Police are appealing for information following a spate of burglaries in Brentwood.

There have been 15 burglaries and two attempted break-ins in Warley, Hutton, Ingatestone, Pilgrims Hatch, Kelvedon Hatch and central Brentwood over the past two weeks – 7 of which took place on Friday.

Everything from jewellery, laptops and cash have been stolen and two incidents saw cars being stolen after the intruders found car keys in the homes.

Most of the burglaries took place in the late afternoon at “high-value” properties, where intruders entered through rear windows and back doors.

DI Stephen Ellis, who is leading the investigation, said: “There is no doubt that one group of thieves is targeting homes left unoccupied during the day, between Monday and Friday.

“We believe that most of the burglaries happen in mid to late afternoon, just as it starts to get dark. The thieves always go to the back of houses and might climb over side gates or rear fences.”

He added: “Once inside they usually bolt the front door, so they are clearly worried that they might be disturbed by someone perhaps returning home early from work.”

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Homeowners have been returning home to find their front doors locked after the burglars have escaped the same way they entered the houses.

“We believe these are opportunist thieves who look for properties where no one is at home. As darkness falls they will target homes where there are no lights or no signs or sounds of anyone being in.”

Police are encouraging people to install alarm systems and automatic timers to turn on lights, radios and TVs to deter burglars.

They are advising homeowners to ensure all doors and windows are securely locked.

Police presence is being boosted in the areas affected and a “major publicity campaign” is being launched to warn people of the dangers.

Anyone with information about the burglaries should contact the Loughton CID burglary desk on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Anyone who sees a burglary in process should call 999.

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