Man pleads guilty to Chorleywood burglary as detectives issue crime prevention advice
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A man has pleaded guilty to burgling the home of an elderly couple in Chorleywood as detectives issue crime prevention advice ahead of the clock change.
Tomas Asmenskas, aged 24, of Geere Road in Stratford, London, has pleaded guilty to breaking into a property on Blacketts Wood Drive in March last year, where he stole alcohol, cash and silverware. He is due to be sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Friday 17 November.
Ahead of the clock change on Sunday, police in Three Rivers are urging residents to review their home security as the darker nights draw in.
Detective Sergeant Darren Machin, from the Three Rivers Local Crime Unit, said: “During the autumn and winter months, we do tend to see an increase in burglary reports due to many empty homes being left in darkness as night falls, alerting criminals to the fact that no one is in the property.
“News of Asmenskas’ guilty plea is positive, and we want to build on that by reassuring residents that tackling and preventing burglary is a priority for us. We will always attend your home and provide you with support if you have been the victim of a burglary, and we will conduct a thorough investigation with the assistance of forensic specialists.
“Taking steps to ensure your home appears occupied will deter burglars, and one of the easiest ways to do this is by using a timer switch on lamps. We also advise residents to consider further security devices, like doorbell cameras and wi-fi plugs. These kinds of devices are easy to install and are becoming more affordable.”
Over the next few months, the Three Rivers Safer Neighbourhood Team will be holding crime prevention events across the district, offering free security devices, as well as tips on keeping homes and valuables safe. Keep an eye on the Three Rivers Police social media pages for event details.
In the meantime, residents can make their homes more secure by following basic crime prevention advice:
Lock all doors and windows and ensure any PVCu doors are locked properly by lifting the handle and using the key to double-lock them.
Consider installing a doorbell camera, internal camera and/or monitored burglar alarm.
Install ‘dusk to dawn’ external lighting and use timer switches or wi-fi plugs/systems in your home to control internal lights, radios, and a simulated TV.
Keep keys and valuables secure and out of sight.
Ensure boundary fences are secure with side gates locked. Keep tools and ladders in a locked shed.
Secure bins at night and put garden furniture away for the winter as these can be used by burglars as climbing aids to gain access to upper floor
Look out for your neighbours especially in they are vulnerable, by reporting any suspicious activity you notice in your area.
An ’OWL crime alerts’ app is also available to download and users will receive pop-up notifications for important messages like high risk missing people or live time emergencies, for example where areas may need to be evacuated.
If you witness suspicious activity in your street, and you think a crime may be in progress, always dial 999 and provide the communications operator with as much information as possible without putting yourself in danger.
To receive police messages about a range of topics including burglaries, scams and missing people in your local area, sign up to owl.co.uk/herts or download the ‘OWL crime alerts’ app from your app store.
You can use our anonymous community voice platform ‘echo’ to let us know what you think we should be prioritising in your area. Your feedback will help towards shaping our local policing priorities, initiatives, and campaigns. Visit bit.ly/police-threerivers and tell us your thoughts.