Crime update appeals and warnings

Alert message sent 26/02/2020 16:07:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

Good afternoon all,

Please find crime update appeals and warnings from Trowbridge Neighbourhood Community Policing Team for this week.

Crime of note.

Overnight 18-19th February 2020, unknown offender(s) have gained access to a household oil storage tank and drained the contents.  The oil taken is worth in the region of £500 and would have taken considerable effort and time to drain.

For those of you that have oil containers on your premises, please ensure you do everything you can to protect yourself against this type of crime by taking the following measures:

1.  Ensure any access hatches and filling locations are secured with a good quality padlock or other suitable means of preventing unwanted access.
2.  If at all possible ensure the area they are stored in is not accessible to trespassers.  For instance, ensure any garden gates and other access points are locked and secure.
3.  If the area cannot be secured, for instance the store is in a front garden, then consider enclosing it with fencing or similar.
4.  Consider installing CCTV that is capable of capturing good quality images, particularly at night, as this is when most of these offences occur.

Distraction thefts

We’re urging residents to be vigilant following a spate of distraction thefts in supermarket car parks.

In the latest incident, which took place at approximately 2.30pm on February 12, a woman in her 80s had returned to her vehicle in the Morrisons car park in Warminster having done her shopping, when she was approached by a man who asked her for help. As she sat in the driver’s seat, he held a note to the window and requested she got out of the car to assist him with a friend who had a medical emergency. 

It is not believed the man spoke English. 

The woman refused to get out of her vehicle but during the incident, and unbeknown to her, someone had taken her bank card from her purse which was on the front passenger seat. 

She was alerted the following day by her bank that her debit card had been used to make several large purchases in the Bath area to the value of £4,000. All transactions were made using the victim’s PIN number so it is likely the offenders had observed her purchasing her shopping in Morrisons. 

Enquiries are ongoing.

Similar incidents have also been reported in Tesco, County Way, Swindon, Morrisons in Chippenham and Tesco Extra in Bourne Way, Salisbury.

PC Sue Ellway said: “We are conducting a number of enquiries in relation to these incidents which have no doubt caused a lot of upset and distress to the victims. 

“I’d like to remind shoppers of the importance of ensuring you shield your PIN number when shopping as you never know who may be watching. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and if you see anything suspicious, call police immediately on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”

I'm pleased to report that although the weather has not been very good for any other reason recently, the wet weather does appear to have had a positive impact on the number of crimes and reports of anti-social behaviour received this last week, in the Trowbridge area.

Just to give you an idea of how many calls for assistance we receive on a 'typical' day, the lowest number of calls in a 24 hour period last week for the Trowbridge area was 16, the highest 28.  This is just the number of calls that require the creation of a log to monitor and control officer deployment.  There were 56 crimes to be investigated as a result, ranging from simple and relatively minor offences, through to serious historical sexual offences, concerns for welfare, requests from other police forces as well as road traffic collisions, roads blocked by fallen trees and dozens of other calls for assistance.

Please remember to report any crimes via 101 or 999 as appropriate - although I hope you all have a peaceful week and do not need to!

PC 1970 Sam WITHEY
Trowbridge Neighbourhood Policing Team
Message sent by
Sam Withey (Police, Neighbourhood Officer, CPT Trowbridge)

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