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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Cumbria criminals' Christmas list revealed

JEWELLERY tops the list of items thieves want to steal in Cumbria over Christmas.

Cumbria Constabulary has today revealed the contents of a local criminal’s Christmas list after collating the items that are most commonly stolen around the county.

The top 12 items have been revealed just a few days after Christmas as police round up the numbers of stolen items that have been taken during burglaries and thefts in 2012.

The top 12 items on a criminals’ Christmas list all share common traits – they are easily snatched from insecure cars or properties.

They can also be invaluable to their owners – not just in monetary terms but also in terms of sentiment, especially where jewellery is concerned; and also in terms of personal data – when contact information or bank information is stored on phones, computers or in handbags.

The top 12 items on a Cumbrian criminal’s Christmas list are:

1. Jewellery

2. Money

3. Mobile phones

4. Computers (including tablets and iPads)

5. Watches

6. Handbags

7. Purses

8. Bicycles

9. Sat Navs

10. Clothing

11. Other electrical items

12. Car keys

Jewellery has scooped the number one spot on the list with police receiving 393 reports that jewellery had been stolen during burglaries at peoples’ homes this year.

Money comes a close second with 246 instances of money being stolen from dwelling burglaries in 2012. Forty-one separate instances of money being stolen during thefts from insecure vehicles and property were also recorded.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Johnson said: “As people begin to pack up Christmas for another year and clear out the unwanted boxes from their latest gadgets and gizmos, we want to remind them to be sensible and not advertise their new gifts to criminals.

“Take the boxes and packaging of electrical or expensive items to the tip rather than putting them outside your home as this can act as an advertisement to opportunist thieves. Or at the least, collapse your boxes and wait until the day of your rubbish collection to put them out.

“The items that are in most demand by thieves are the things that are easily taken so please bear this in mind. Items like jewellery, money, mobile phones or iPads that are lying around on work tops, window sills or dashboards are easy prey for an opportunist criminal who’s desperate to make some money.

“Electrical items such as power tools can also be easy pickings if your sheds or outhouses are insecure. I’d urge everyone to double check their security when they’re putting their Christmas decorations and gifts away for another year.

“Insecurity is the main factor in thefts and burglaries in Cumbria. Thieves will walk down a street or through a cul-de-sac and try a row of doors on vehicles and houses.

“When they find one open, they will take anything they can find or easily steal. By simply making sure doors are locked we can make their lives harder and, more importantly, keep hold of our precious possessions and new Christmas gifts.

“We are urging everyone to take time to consider their security to help ensure they have a safe and happy 2013.”

For more information or advice on how to keep yourself and your homes and property safe, please visit www.cumbria.police.uk or speak to your local policing team by calling 101.

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