Police patrols are being stepped up, and residents asked to check their security, after several reports of high-performance cars being stolen during two-in-one burglaries across Barnsley.
Two-in-one burglaries involve suspects breaking into a property for the sole purpose of taking car keys. They typically occur at properties with high value or rare vehicles on the drive, as Detective Inspector Kate Leake explains.
“We have unfortunately seen a real spike in this type of burglary in Barnsley in recent months and I can fully appreciate how frustrating and distressing this must be for the victims experiencing this crime.
“The individuals participating in this criminality appear to be quite sophisticated in their methods, with our officers receiving numerous reports of door locks being melted or burned out – rather than your typical ‘smash and grab’ type tactics.
“I want to reassure the public that we’re taking this matter incredibly seriously and are working hard with neighbouring forces to identify the offenders and work together to stop this issue.
“We have regular patrols in affected areas and have the support of specialist colleagues from across the force to cover the road networks in and out of Barnsley.
“With that in mind, there are a number of things that you can do to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of a two-in-one burglary.
“Review your home security, including where you keep your car keys in the evening. We absolutely do NOT recommend taking your keys to bed with you, as this could place you at additional risk should someone choose to break in.
“We would recommend investing in a key safe, or storing the keys somewhere out of sight and not immediately within reach of the door – try and think of somewhere a burglar wouldn’t!
“Given that the recent incidents have involved burning through locks, consider installing supplementary smoke alarms near to PVC doors that can act as an immediate warning should someone try to break into your house. These are available at minimal cost.
“We’d also suggest investing in the most simple vehicle security method – a steering wheel lock. They’re very difficult to break and are an obvious deterrent to anyone thinking of stealing your vehicle.
“If it isn’t feasible to purchase a CCTV system, consider other measures like security lighting or burglar alarms, items that would deter anyone wanting to break into your property.”
Officers from the local neighbourhood teams will be conducting high visibility police patrols, are available to survey your security arrangements, and offer impartial advice on keeping your home, property and family safe.
Further information on your Neighbourhood Team can be found on our homepage.
DI Leake added: “As part of our proactive patrols, we’ll be visiting houses that have valuable vehicles on the driveway and offering crime prevention advice. I would like to reassure the public that South Yorkshire Police are doing everything we can to protect the people of Barnsley and prosecute those responsible.
“I would urge residents to report suspicious activity to the police via the South Yorkshire Police website, 101 (or 999 if a crime is in progress). Even the smallest piece of information – however seemingly insignificant – could prove crucial in bringing criminals to justice.
“If you have any concerns or you have any information about those that may be committing this crime, please contact us.”
You can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.