MORE than 20 shed and garage break-ins have been reported in Poole since the beginning of August.
Dorset Police said officers are investigating the series of incidents, which have mainly occurred at night, in the areas of Parkstone, Branksome and Canford Cliffs.
A police spokesperson said offenders have cut door locks or forced doors open with crowbars, before making off with high-value items such as bikes, e-bikes and power tools.
Now, officers are urging anyone in the BH13, BH14 or BH15 postcode areas to remain vigilant and if possible take extra precautions to safeguard their sheds and garages.
They said members of the public may wish to:
• Attach a secondary lock to the base of the garage
• Alarm the outer building; this can be done with a single alarm or it can be linked to the main house alarm if you have one
• Do not leave tools and ladders out to potentially assist offenders
• Place bins behind locked gates or secure them to a fixed point using a chain and padlock
• Use curtains, blinds or one-way window film on shed or garage windows to make sure criminals cannot see what is inside
• Don’t post pictures on social media of your bike, or your routes on fitness trackers/apps that show your start/finish point as offenders may be able to determine the home address of where your bike is stored
• Forensically mark and register your bikes, tools or other expensive items using an accredited forensic marking solution
Police Sergeant Euan Douglas, of the Neighbourhood Enforcement Team for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, said: “We are continuing to explore a number of investigative opportunities around these burglaries.
“I would like to take this opportunity to urge residents to make sure they leave their garages secure at all times so they are not an easy target for offenders, and to consider additional security such as home CCTV systems and alarms.
“I would also encourage members of the public who witness any suspicious behaviour to report it to Dorset Police or anonymously at Crimestoppers.”
Anyone with information should contact Dorset Police via www.dorset.police.uk or call 101. They can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.