Over the past few weeks Wrexham.com has been made aware of a number of shed related break ins and burglaries that have taken place across the area.
Incidents have taken place in areas such as Rhosddu, Acrefair and also Bron-Y-Dre, amongst others including one incident this week regarding a motorbike that was stolen in Acrefair after a lock was broken.
A number of similar incidents took place last summer, which saw items such as lawnmowers, bicycles and a quad bike stolen from Coedpoeth and Bangor-On-Dee.
Inspector Mark Williams said: “There is a problem with shed break-ins in Wrexham. These days people have very expensive bikes in their sheds. A lot of stuff is being kept in them.
“It it a problem and it does seem to be the crime of choice at the moment.”
Since April of this year 16 people have been arrested and convicted in relation to the incidents.
Speaking about the rise in shed related burglaries, Inspector Williams mentioned seasonal changes and how different crimes take place depending on the time of year. For example an increase of shoplifting could be expected during the festive season, whereas in the spring and summer months there is likely to be an increase in shed related burglaries or Sat Nav thefts.
Inspector Williams also pointed out that people store expensive items, such as lawnmowers and bikes in their sheds, which is why they are so often targeted.
One couple from Acton got in touch with us regarding a shed burglary and missing water feature, saying they felt as though more could have been done by the Police with finding the stolen items and the person responsible.
The residents told us they were woken around 2:30am one morning due to a noise outside, and saw a man carrying items up a road close to Chester Rd. They observed the man then entering some bushes with the items then leaving them empty handed. We are told that they called the police via the 101 service, and told the operator what they had seen plus ongoing details of the man going through peoples gardens.
We are told the couple stayed up a further hour expecting some police activity or perhaps a visit, and were surprised when it was not forthcoming. Due to this the residents looked in the hedge where the man had been seen, and found garden tools and potted plans. 101 was called again and two PCSO’s attended the scene later that day. The residents ended up taking to twitter to get in touch with Sgt Wycherley to follow up the matter.
When Wrexham.com spoke to the residents again few weeks ago, they said they were curious about the Police response time, which in this instance they believed to be slow with regards to all the information they had provided the police with.
Sgt Paul Wycherly said: “All calls to us are graded, as we can’t respond to everything straight away. We would love to get there straight away.”
“Our response time wasn’t as great as we would like as there are only so many officers we can deploy. We did investigate the incident, albeit at a slower time.”
Inspector Williams said: “Crimes are dealt with like a grading system on a scale of 0-8 with priority. Priority 0 is immediate, Priority one is urgent but not life threatening and Priority two is routine enquiries and we get there as an when we possibly can.”
Sgt Wycherly said: “We’ve got all the details, if we had a suspect we would get a statement.”
“We do relentlessly pursue those who we know who are doing us the most harm.”
Advice has been offered to try and help prevent similar types of time, and below are a number of ways in which you can ensure your sheds are secure and protect your property.
- Fit two heavy duty pad-bolts or hasps; a third down from the top and a third up from the bottom.
- Use threaded coach-bolts with large washers or ideally backing plates to prevent the bolts being pulled through the wood; screws can easily be pulled out of the thin doors.
- Use large quality padlocks with hardened steel shackles.
- Fit key operated locks on the corners of each opening window, or consider screwing them permanently shut from the inside if you never open them.