Arrests after officers target shed break-ins
TWO people were arrested and dozens more were stopped and searched as part of a police operation to target garage break-ins.
During the week-long operation, which began on March 10, police arrested two men on suspicion of burglary, and they have been bailed pending further enquiries.
PC Stacey McGarry, community beat manager for Gorse Hill, said: “The operation followed a spate of garage and shed break-ins in the central area of Swindon.
“We were out from 9pm until 6am to try to locate offenders. We were stopping everyone and we arrested two men.
“We performed almost 40 stop and searches of persons around the area, which has given us a lot of intelligence with regards to who is out and about at that time in the morning.
“We also gave a number of tickets for other offences. We managed to stop persons with cannabis on them, so we gave out tickets for drugs possession.”
A team of about six officers were patrolling the areas each night.
“The garage and shed break-ins increased over a period of a few weeks so we wanted to target it quickly in order to try to catch the people committing the crime,” said PC McGarry.
“If we don’t target it, it will move on to somewhere else or another crime will start. For example, we had car break-ins in the west and then they died off and then central had garage break-ins. We have to hit it hard when it comes around.
“If there is another spike we will definitely consider doing it again.
“The results we have had show how successful it can be.”
Garage owners are being advised to fit strong padlocks to sheds and garage doors, consider having lockable steel boxes fitted to the floor of sheds and garages to store tools in or anchor posts fitted to secure larger tools and equipment, and to visibly mark their property.
Anyone in the area who sees anybody acting suspiciously near sheds and garages should contact police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.