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Rash of burglaries in Gorleston

PUBLISHED: 19:21 09 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:22 03 July 2010

NEARLY 20 Gorleston homes have been burgled overnight due to people leaving their windows open.

While homeowners sleep soundly upstairs burglars are slipping in through open ground-floor windows, making a quiet and tidy search of the property and getting away with laptops, ipods and televisions.

NEARLY 20 Gorleston homes have been burgled overnight due to people leaving their windows open.

While homeowners sleep soundly upstairs burglars are slipping in through open ground-floor windows, making a quiet and tidy search of the property and getting away with laptops, ipods and televisions.

In one incident in Victoria Road burglars stole car keys and took a VW saloon from the driveway.

Since mid-April almost 20 homes have been burgled in the eastern area of Gorleston, with offences peaking in early May.

In the three month period between April and June burglary in Gorleston has increased by 87.5pc, compared to the same period last year.

Det Insp Rickie Botwright, from Yarmouth CID, said the burglaries were being linked and that detectives were following a number of lines of enquiry.

However, he said it had been difficult to gather forensic evidence - key in securing charges on suspects for burglaries in Caister earlier this year - as offenders were gaining access through open doors and windows.

Homes on Victoria Road, Upper Cliff Road, Lower Cliff Road, Englands Lane and Buxton Avenue have been targeted.

Det Insp Botwright said: “It is similar to the spike we had in Caister earlier in the year but we can say with some certainty that these are not the same people.

“The burglaries have happened around the A12 corridor, a route someone might take from Suffolk into Gorleston and we are working closely with Suffolk Constabulary.”

Most incidents have happened between midnight and 4am and plain-clothed detectives have taken part in a late-night operation where they carried out stop and search checks on people hanging around the area.

Detectives also kept a look-out for vulnerable properties and stopped at four homes which had windows open to give homeowners crime prevention advice.

Det Insp Botwright said: “Detectives found an open ground-floor window in a property close to where a burglary had taken place. “The detectives knocked on the window, identified themselves and explained about the operation. However, the woman complained to police about it the next day. Had it not been the detectives, it could have been a burglar,” he added.

Officers called at four houses that night where they had spotted open windows. “Most people appreciated the advice,” he said.

Det Insp Botwright said it was likely the burglaries were being carried out by a group of people walking around the area and targeting insecure homes. He said one person would get inside the house while the others kept look-out.

Police are urging residents in the area to remain vigilant by keeping windows and doors locked at night and when they are out of the house.

Free security risk assessments are available from police crime prevention officers by calling 01493 333350. Anyone with information about the burglaries in Gorleston should contact Det Insp Botwright at Yarmouth CID on 0845 456 4567.

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