Farmers and rural landowners in North Herts are being urged to take extra care of their property following an increase in rural thefts and burglaries.
Since the beginning of January five incidents have been reported where property has been stolen from outhouses or barns. There are currently no direct links between the crimes, but local officers are concerned by the regularity with which rural locations are currently been targeted.
On Wednesday 5 January, between 6pm and 9.15pm, a barn and two sheds were entered in Hinxworth Road in Ashwell and a ride on lawn mower and several power tools were stolen.
Sometime between Wednesday 12 January and Thursday 13 January, a water site in Barley was entered and metal grid flooring was stolen.
Then on Tuesday 18 January, a fence was cut at a car sales premises in Langley and two commercial batteries were stolen. The offenders drove a vehicle across crops to access the site.
Between Thursday 20 January and Friday 21 January, a padlock was cut at a yard in Kelshall and a forklift truck was stolen.
Another ride on lawnmower was stolen between Monday 24 January and Tuesday 25 January, after offenders broke the lock on a farm building in Therfield.
Commenting on the crimes, North Herts Neighbourhood Inspector James Lant said: “We are urging those who live in our rural areas to be extra vigilant and secure their property as best they can. Now would be a good time to review security on your outbuildings and sheds and to secure items stored within them.
“CCTV is a useful prevention and detection device, and it is always a good idea to security mark all valuable property stored outside. Try not to leave high value items on display longer than necessary and report any suspicious activity around your property immediately. We carry out regular patrols around our rural areas so don’t wait to call anything in.
“If you are not a member of our Online Watch Liaison scheme, now would be a good time to join. You will receive regular updates about crime trends and incidents in your local area. Visit OWL (opens in a new window) and select the watch that you would like to become a member of. There is also now an OWL app to get alerts via your phone wherever you are, just download the ‘OWL crime alerts’ app from your app store.