Security warning for vulnerable Harrogate residents warned as burglars smash into keysafe

A Harrogate guesthouse owner has issued a warning over home security after burglars smashed their way into her keysafe before gaining entry to her property.

Thursday, 15th December 2016, 10:25 am
Updated Thursday, 15th December 2016, 12:58 pm
Spate of burglaries in Harrogate

Marie Monaghan’s Dragon Parade guesthouse was broken into on Saturday, December 10, when burglars broke open her masterlock key safe which contained a spare front door key.

The burglars took a tin containing a large quantity of cash and passports as well as wine, a black Next purse and a bag containing boots.

Ms Monaghan explained that she often left a spare set of keys in the safe for regular customers who may be arriving late arriving at the guesthouse.

However, she warned that the key safes are often used by vulnerable people and their carers and warned them to take extra precautions as a result.

She said: “I only went out for an hour and as soon as I came back to the front door I could see that someone had smashed the key box. I have never had this problem with key boxes but it’s obviously been very easy to smash.

“This has definitely made me reconsider my security options but I know a lot of vulnerable people use these type of boxes, including people who have dementia.

“I am now going to get a security camera fitted for extra precaution. It’s very scary to think about, especially as it happened on a main road on a Saturday afternoon.”

The burglary was one of nine to take place across Harrogate over the December 9 weekend with the suspects stealing cars, electrical items and cash.

Police originally revealed that burglars broke into four homes over the weekend with the suspects gaining entry by damaging the rear door locks of the properties.

In two of the incidents, the suspects broke into the owner’s home, took their keys and stole their cars.

These “2-in-1” burglaries happened in Beech Avenue where a black Mini Cooper was stolen and Harlow Moor Drive where a blue Volkswagen Gold was stolen.

A property on Ash Road was also targeted where various electrical items, including Apple products, were stolen while a purse was stolen from a Leeds Road home.

Police then revealed on Tuesday that a further five properties had reported burglaries and that two men had been arrested.

A 20-year-old man and a 26-year-old man, both from Keighley, West Yorkshire have been interviewed and bailed pending further enquires.

Detective Constable Quita Passmore of Harrogate Investigation Hub has warned homeowners to take basic security measures to reduce their chances of being targeted.