Spate of burglaries in north Harrogate

PCSO 6454 Glen Cooper on Tennyson Avenue.  (140325AM1)

PCSO 6454 Glen Cooper on Tennyson Avenue. (140325AM1)

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Burglars have struck at 37 homes in Harrogate since the beginning of February.

Families in Bilton, Woodfield, New Park and Saltergate have been the target of “brazen” burglars who have stolen electrical items including iPads, laptops and mobile phones.

Police say such activity on the north side of Harrogate is highly unusual, reassuring residents that action has already been taken - and some arrests have been made.

“We are urging people to report anything suspicious,” said PC Sharon Rawlings, beat manager for the Saltergate and New Park wards. “Anybody seen loitering in your garden, or doing something they shouldn’t be.

“Some of the information given to us my members of the public has already been used to combat this issue.”

There have been 16 burglaries in the Bilton and Woodfield Wards since the beginning of February, she said, when police are usually called to one or two. In the New Park and Saltergate areas - where an average of one burglary a year is reported - there have been eight in recent weeks.

In total, 37 homes have been targeted across the north of Harrogate, with thieves often striking in broad daylight and through the early evening.

“Normally the north side of Harrogate is largely untouched,” said PC Rawlings. “They are getting in through open doors, and even smashing windows and patio doors to gain access. Some of them have been very brazen.”

Homes on Burns Way, Tennyson Avenue, Woodfield Avenue, Walnut Grove, Chestnut Grove have all been hit, sometimes when homeowners were at home.

“One couple had their shed broken into but nothing was taken,” said PC Rawlings. “They are so upset they’ve refused go on holiday now.

“In another, someone was upstairs with their headphones in - they didn’t know anybody was downstairs.”

Police have been working closely with the Community Safety Partnership, trying to raise safety awareness in the area.

Officers have been going door-to-door on the streets affected, speaking to neighbours and carrying out leaflet drops.Patrols have also been stepped up, and now police are urging residents to remain vigilant.

“Keep valuables out of sight,” said PC Rawlings. “Keep doors and windows locked.

“These are simple things which can make it more difficult for burglars. Don’t make yourself vulnerable.”

Two youths have been arrested in connection with some of the burglaries. They have been released on police on bail as enquiries continue.