Spate of daytime burglaries in South Ribble

Leyland police inspector Steve Evans
Leyland police inspector Steve Evans

Thousands of pounds worth of designer clothes have been taken during a spate of daytime burglaries.

More than 10 break-ins have occurred in July alone in Leyland and Penwortham as people leave their windows open during the hot weather.

In one raid, opportunists took a £6,500 Omega watch from someone’s home, while a £540 Louis Vuitton belt, a Gucci belt costing £220 and Burberry sunglasses worth £300 have also been stolen.

Leyland’s police inspector Steve Evans is now warning residents to make sure they lock up when they go to work, and even when they’re sitting in the back garden.

He said: “In some cases, the thieves have climbed up to the first floor and got inside from an open upstairs window.

“One gained entry from a small bathroom window left open on the ground floor, because they can reach inside and create a wider opening.

“I know it’s tempting to leave windows open in this heat, but these people will find a way to get in.

“Especially if they see a window open and no car on the drive, they take the opportunity. Something like that is attractive to a thief.”

Insp Evans said the culprits have mainly been targeting homes, but that cars, sheds and garages are a concern too.

He said: “People might be in the house and leave the garage open, where there are lawnmowers and bikes, and even when they’re sitting in the garden having drinks or a barbecue, it’s important that they don’t leave the front windows of the house open.”

Shoes, a laptop, camcorder, a Playstation, webcam, a bike and even aftershave balm have also been taken in the latest spate of burglaries across South Ribble.

“We’re not ruling out that they could be connected,” Insp Evans added.

“These are all offences that have happened during the day when people are at work.”

Detective Insp Vinnie De Curtis from Lancashire Police added that there is also a danger at night: “We tend to see a seasonal rise in burglary and theft during the summer months due to people leaving their windows open as they go to bed at night.

“This isn’t just about reducing burglary. It’s about reducing the upset and distress that comes with having a stranger in your home ransacking your private things and taking not only your valuables but items that are very personal and irreplaceable.

“The same message applies to cars being left unlocked.”

If you notice anything suspicious, call police on 101.