Catalytic converter thefts in east Suffolk
Police are urging vigilance and appealing for information after a number of thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles in the east of Suffolk.
Catalytic converters were stolen or were attempted to be stolen from vehicles in 12 incidents over the past month.
One incident took place at a business premises in Stradbroke in New Street on 23 April where four vehicles had their cat converters stolen, an attempted theft of one took place in 27 April on Beccles Road in Lowestoft from a Renault Twingo van, on 28 April one was taken from a vehicle on Mobbs Way, while a further theft was reported on 28 April on Southwold Road in Halesworth and a second incident on the same day outside a property in Stuston.
On 29 April on Ivy Lane in Carlton Colville a cat converter was stolen from a Renault Twingo van.
In May, one was taken from a vehicle on Westwood Way in Beccles at the Tesco car park on 4 May, an attempted theft of one was made on a vehicle in Elm Tree West in Lowestoft on 6 May, while on the same day at Westwood Way in Beccles one was taken from a vehicle and on the 10 May an attempt was made to steal one from a Honda Jazz on Station Road in Brampton.
On York Road in Southwold on 17 May a VW Beetle had its converter stolen, while on the same day at a property in Worlingham a vehicle owner who had left her vehicle unattended returned to it and found someone under the car attempting a theft. When challenged the male gathered his tools and fled the scene.
The suspect was described as a male in his late 20s or early 30s, with dark short hair, of a slight build and about five foot ,seven inches tall.
Officers are continuing their investigations and are exploring links between the incidents reported.
Any witnesses or anyone with any information about these incidents or who saw anything suspicious at the time should contact Suffolk police.
Phone – call 101
In an emergency always call 999 Owners of vehicles can follow these tips:
- Keep private vehicles in a well-secured garage where possible, and if no garage is available, in a well-lit public area.
- Park vehicles in such a way as to make access to the catalytic converter difficult or parallel with another vehicle if you own one.
- Keep commercial vehicles in a locked building or compound.
- If possible, use alarms, lighting and CCTV to deter thieves.
Stowmarket – shed & garage burglary
Police are appealing for witnesses following a burglary of a garden shed and garage at an address on Combs Lane.
The incident occurred between 6pm Monday 17th May and 2pm Tuesday 18th May
An unknown person or persons have forced entry to a shed and stolen frozen food items from a freezer. A tool cabinet in a garage was opened, although it is not known if anything was stolen.
Can you help?
Anyone with information is asked to contact Suffolk Police, quoting reference: 26055/21.
Phone – Call 101
Suffolk Police would like to remind residents during the spring/summer season to regularly check that their garden gates, sheds, garages, outbuildings and barns are locked and secure.
This follows a number of burglaries and attempted burglaries of sheds, garages & outbuildings in various locations across the County.
In many cases, various gardening equipment such as ride-on lawnmowers, push lawnmowers, strimmers, hedge trimmers, electrical equipment, tools etc have been stolen.
We recommend that all property is security marked, insured, secured and locked away after being used.
Security advice can be found on our website under 1st Principle for Shed/garage security and property marking guidance (see links below).
We also would like to remind residents that often, tools left out can also be used to commit other crimes such as dwelling burglaries.
Find 1st Principle Security advice on the Suffolk Police webpage www.suffolk.police.uk or via this link http://www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/shedandgaragesecurity1.pdf
Register serial numbers of tools and equipment via Immobilise https://www.immobilise.com/ and make a personal record. This will help identify items if they are found, and speed up the process of returning items to the owners.
A list of security products can be viewed via - http://www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/security_product_brochure.pdf
Police in Suffolk have been raising awareness regarding the safety of road users on two wheels - including motorcyclists and cyclists – as part of a national initiative.
Between Monday 12 April and Sunday 18 April, officers supported the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) ‘2 Wheels’ campaign. This coincided with another roads policing operation called ‘Close Pass’, both of which focus on the dangers faced by cyclists as a result of motorists who drive too closely to them.
The aim of both campaigns is to educate and raise awareness among motorists - as well as riders - about how to improve driver/rider behaviour to enhance road safety.
Motorcyclists make up just 1% of the motoring population, yet are 16 times more likely to be injured in a serious or fatal collision as opposed to car drivers. They therefore remain one of the most vulnerable road users, alongside cyclists.
As part of this year’s campaign officers placed an additional focus on the safety of road users on two wheels by conducting checks in both marked and unmarked vehicles in areas frequently used by motorcyclists and pedal cyclists. Officers engaged with riders in order to educate them on the dangers of not having the correct skills, knowledge and personal protection equipment.
Officers were also keen to use the operation as an opportunity to highlight the law with respect to e-scooters, giving words of advice wherever possible but taking action if necessary.
Although you can legally buy an e-scooter in the UK, you cannot currently ride it on a public road, cycle lane or pavement. The only place it can be used is on private land.
Temporary Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, Head of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: "We know that as lockdown restrictions ease, road users, particularly cyclists, are more likely to get back out on our roads. It has therefore never been a more important time to highlight the dangers that both motorcyclists and cyclists face.
"As we have seen riders being disproportionally involved in serious collisions when they only make up a small fraction of the total road users, we want to use this campaign to encourage motorists and cyclists to think about the safety of those on two wheels.
"Riders must of course consider their own safety and be responsible road users as much as anyone else, but I would urge drivers of other vehicles to take extra care when travelling near to cyclists or motorcyclists and recognise that they are more vulnerable. Don’t drive too closely to them and allow plenty of room if overtaking.
"We also want people to make sure they are aware of the current legislation in respect of e-scooters so they do not unwittingly commit an offence and find themselves being issued with a penalty notice.”
Drivers or riders seen to commit offences will be issued with Traffic Offence Reports (TORs) and face a fine, points on their licence or even court action.
E-scooters are treated as motor vehicles by the Department for Transport and are subject to the same legal requirement as other vehicles.
If caught riding an e-scooter in a public place, fines you could receive include:
• a fixed penalty notice for no insurance, with a £300 fine and six penalty points
• a fixed penalty notice for no driving licence, up to £100 fine and three to six penalty points
Other offences which might result in penalties (including arrest) include: riding on the footpath; using a mobile phone; riding through red lights; and drink/drug driving.
Further information about the use of e-scooters and other powered transporters can be found on the UK Government website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/powered-transporters/information-sheet-guidance-on-powered-transporters
Suffolk Constabulary is warning pet owners to take extra care after seeing a number of dog thefts this year. Sergeant Brian Calver said: "Organised crime groups are actively targeting addresses, with working breeds tending to be those that are favoured by criminals. "The loss of any pet can be devastating to owners, with the added trauma of not knowing what sort of conditions the dog is being subjected to. We would advise dog owners to review security of any outdoor kennels.”
There have been 12 confirmed cases where dogs have been stolen within the county in 2020, and Sgt Calver said all bar one of the incidents involved the theft of dogs that would be classed as working gun breeds.
Security measures to prevent thefts include good quality locks and lighting, while consideration should be given to CCTV and sensors as these offer an early alert to the presence of intruders.
Gardens should be well secured with fencing or hedges, while gates should be kept locked.
Owners are advised not to leave dogs out in open gardens and yards when they are not at home and, if possible, they should be brought into the house overnight.
Ensure your dog is chipped and, if neutered, mark the dog’s tag as such as this makes them less attractive to thieves that may want to steal them for breeding. When out walking, if you let your dog off the lead, don’t allow it to leave your sight.
Sgt Calver also advised dog owners to ensure they were not giving away personal details online. He said: "Consider your security on social media and avoid giving away details that may highlight your address and the fact you have a dog which could be attractive to thieves. We would encourage you to be vigilant of suspicious persons seen around addresses, or any cold callers. Please report such activity, with descriptions of the individuals and their vehicles, as well as sharing those concerns on local watch groups.”
Sgt Calver also urged owners of other pets to be wary of thieves, saying birds had been stolen too.
Anybody with any information regarding the theft of dogs or other pets is encouraged to contact Suffolk police via:
Crimestoppers – Contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Phone – call 101
Please note in the event of an emergency you should always call 999.
General crime prevention advice can be found by visiting www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z
Police are urging members of the public to consider installing extra crime prevention measures such as CCTV, security lighting and doorbell cameras as a way to help make their properties more secure. See below
Visit http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/home-safety for further home security advice.
Phone: Crimestoppers – 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Phone – Call 101
Please note in the event of an emergency you should always call 999