Police are urging residents to call 999 immediately if they see people acting suspiciously near their neighbours’ properties.
The advice follows an incident in Beadlow Close, Carshalton, on New Year’s Day at 13.45hrs when a female resident spotted two men acting suspiciously on the roof of a property nearby. The vigilant neighbour called police, who were quickly on scene and detained two males. Police enquiries are ongoing.
In another incident over the New Year, a resident saw a light on at 01.30hrs inside a neighbour’s address in Moreton Road, Worcester Park, when she knew the family were away. Unfortunately the resident didn’t call the police about her suspicions at the time and the burglary was only reported after the family returned home after a two-day holiday. Entry had been gained by smashing the glass in a rear door.
Det. Insp. Jim Bennett, who runs Sutton’s Burglary Investigation Team and the borough’s Police Intelligence Unit, said: “The advice is that if it doesn’t look right or feel right, then call us on 999 straightaway.”
He said that people who live near each other often know each other’s movements, such as:
* when they go out and when they are likely to return;
* when the property is usually occupied and when it’s empty;
* when properties are noisy and when they tend to be quiet.
Det. Insp. Bennett explained: “In crime prevention terms, this is important local knowledge which can be of great benefit to local communities in keeping people safe and property secure, especially at this time of year when it gets dark early."
“So our message is that if you see anyone you don’t know acting suspiciously around your neighbour’s property then call us. Also if you hear a loud bang, or series of bangs from next door, or if you see a light on in the early hours of the morning when you believe the property is empty, then call us then too."
“Dial 999 straightaway. If you can, please provide us a good description of the suspects and note their vehicle make and model, or better still, its registration number.”
“We would much prefer to come out and check that everything is OK than to have people suffer the upset and distress that is caused to victims of burglary,” added Det. Insp. Bennett.