Crackdown on shed burglaries is Uttlesford police’s “priority”

POLICE have launched a new operation in an attempt to crackdown on the number of shed burglaries in the district.

Officers in Uttlesford have identified the problem as their “priority” and have already begun monitoring vehicles across Uttlesford with the help of automatic number plate recognition.

The aim is to catch uninsured motorists, incorrectly registered vehicles and drivers acting suspiciously in a bid to address the ongoing spate of shed thefts.

Uttlesford Pc Tom Bastendorff said: “The feedback from motorists has been positive because those stopped know people who have been victims of this type of crime and want to assist where they can.”

Two sheds in Thaxted were targeted last week. The first, in Bardfield Road between 7pm-6.30am on April 17-18, saw a Hayter lawnmower and Mikita Brush Cutter stolen. Thieves got in by jimmying the bracket on the door. A Honda mower worth £2,500 was also taken from a barn in Walden Road between April 17-19 after burglars forced the clasp on the door.

Meanwhile, a lawnmower, tools and gym equipment including a Power Plate worth £7,000 were stolen from a shed in Ugley Green, Stansted Mountfitchet, overnight between April 17-18.

A second shed burglary in the village occurred in Alsa Street between April 16-19 when a Husqvarna chainsaw was taken. Ten heavy duty batteries, a ride on lawnmower and a generator were also reported stolen from a container in Warish Hall Road, Takeley, between April 14-15.

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In Sparepenny Lane, Great Sampford, a lawnmower and chainsaw were taken from an outbuilding, while attempted burglaries from barns and sheds were also reported in Parsonage Lane, Barnston, Cock Green, Felsted, and Bartholomew Green.

Uttlesford’s crime prevention advisor, Pete Caulfield, said: “Burglars won’t usually steal what they can’t see. If you black up the windows in your shed so that burglars can’t see inside it can go a long way to making a big difference. “Another problem is that sheds tend to be at the bottom of the garden where they are more vulnerable, so if you’re thinking of getting another one it’s best to put it closer for better protection.”

He also urged residents to invest in a shed alarm as a deterrent. Click on the link at the top right for more details.