Western Rural Police Report for Week Ending 11th January

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There have been three thefts from building sites reported this week — some from large housing estates and also from individual building developments. One offence was reported on Monday in Frodsham and the other two were both reported on Friday, one in Tarvin and the other in Sandiway. It is likely that the offenders made off empty handed when they were disturbed at one of these locations, when a concerned nearby resident reported a suspicious van reversed up to the gates. Vulnerable building sites attract offenders who will keep returning. Extra vigilance from local residents helps to deter potential offenders. Please continue to phone in about any suspicious behaviour.

There have been two shed/garage breaks this week in Helsby. Both occurred overnight. One of these was made easy for the offenders, as a door was left unlocked. There have been a small number of similar offences in Helsby over recent weeks. Please make sure that you lock all sheds and garages and that locks & hinges are strong and fitted to prevent being tampered with. Also in Helsby, a Land Rover Discovery was stolen on Tuesday. This kind of vehicle is quite specialised, favoured in Rural communities.

There have been other offences this week, not in Helsby, but of rural interest. Fencing keeping livestock in fields has been cut near Bickerton. This may be related to disputes over access to rights of way, but cutting fences which allows livestock to wander onto roads is clearly very dangerous. Police are investigating this matter. In Mouldsworth, a bullock has been stolen from a secure field. Again, police are following up lines of enquiry.On Wednesday, two males were disturbed breaking into a business premises near Dodleston. Thanks to the prompt call to police and good descriptions by the victim, both males were detained and arrested whilst trying to make their escape.

There has been one attempted house burglary reported this week, in Christleton. Good home security prevented entry being gained by the offender.

There have been two serious attempted fraud offences reported this week, whereby offenders have phoned potential victims, persuaded them that they need to make a payment for some unsolicited service and then requested bank details to collect payment. Residents should NEVER respond to unexpected calls which request personal information, bank details or remote access to a computer!

A large number of the shed and garage burglaries that I have reported over recent months, involve the theft of expensive mountain bikes. It is notable that the offenders appear able to target those garages which contain such expensive bikes. Without divulging specific details, I would urge people who post photos of themselves enjoying days out, on social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram to, to review their security settings, in order to prevent offenders from gathering digital information stored within the photo and using this to identify where the owner (and therefore the bike) live. All readers should be aware that a lot of personal information which you may be unaware of, is made available on social media sites, especially when posting photos, UNLESS you take care to ensure that you select appropriate security settings to limit how much information is made available. Do do this, just navigate to the menu of the app, go to 'Settings' and then select the security settings that you wish to put in place.