Western Rural Police Report for Week Ending 21st December

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This week the police have taken a number of reports about thefts from cars parked on residential driveways. Most cars have been left unlocked and have had valuable items such as laptops and ipads left in them. Most offences are happening overnight, although there have been a number of daytime thefts. It appears that the offenders are targeting villages surrounding Chester, with a number of offences occurring in the same village on the same night, then a few days later, a similar spate occurring in another village. The offenders must be having to try a large number of vehicles in order to find so many unlocked vehicles. If you see anyone going up and down driveways, please contact the police.

There have been two reports about 'cold callers' at addresses this week, one in Frodsham and the other in Farndon. During one of these incidents, the caller persuaded the elderly occupant to hand over cash and a bank card. Doorstep sales people should have a Pedlars certificate. These are issued by the council and cannot be issued to people of bad character (i.e. people with convictions.) Please politely turn such callers away from your door and call the police. Genuine sales people will not mind being checked by officers. Your call may prevent a neighbour falling victim to crime! To assist, a genuine Pedlars certificate is yellow with text only- no photo. 'Hawkers' certificates which are typically shown are often laminated with a photo and use colourful text. These are homemade and meaningless.

There have been three houses burgled this week, in Frodsham, Helsby and Christleton. The offences in Helsby and Frodsham have happened during the day and the occupants have disturbed the offender at both addresses. Many elderly people try to conserve electricity by keeping lights off. Unfortunately, this often creates the impression that no one is home, making such addresses attractive targets for burglars. Radios and energy saving light bulbs use very little electricity. Please encourage elderly relatives and neighbours to employ simple minimal cost measures to make their home appear occupied.

Burglaries have been committed at a small number of commercial premises this week — Frodsham & Marlston-cum-Lache have both been targeted. Please keep a watchful eye on any businesses near your home.Over the past weeks, police have taken reports about thefts from skips, businesses or gardens involving an old transit type van. A number of these reports have described there being two Asian male occupants, ages approx. 30 years, wearing high-viz jackets. Police cannot link these incidents at this stage, but urge residents to report any vans acting in a suspicious manner.

At the risk of repeating myself from previous weeks, phone calls continue to be made to residents from callers purporting to be from their bank. The caller may be in possession of certain personal information about the resident which makes the resident feel that the call is genuine. (In many cases, this personal information will have been obtained from public records, discarded mail which has not been shredded or from previous innocuous calls.) Banks and financial institutions will NEVER ask you to divulge PIN numbers or passwords. If you receive any such call, DO NOT divulge any further personal information and please make a note of the phone number that the call was made from and report it to 'Action Fraud'. They will then investigate the matter and take steps to shut the number down and deal with those responsible.

I hope that you all have a very happy and enjoyable Christmas.

Regards

Inspector Keith Curbishley