Police are reminding householders to take crime prevention steps including closing ground floor windows and doors at night following three burglaries and two attempted break-ins in Great Ouseburn near Boroughbridge.
Between 7pm and 8.30pm last night (15 February) burglars entered three bungalows in the village via open windows at the rear of the properties. Although only the small, top windows were open, the burglars reached inside and opened larger windows to gain access. Two other attempts were made at another two bungalows but the thieves failed to gain entry.
The bungalows are all occupied by elderly residents.
Detective Inspector Heather Pearson of Harrogate CID said: “Thankfully none of the victims were physically harmed by the burglars but were understandably shocked and upset. Officers are and will continue to carry out reassurance patrols and have distributed crime prevention leaflets to residents.
“Burglary is a particularly distressing crime for anyone to have to endure. However, targeting homes and property belonging to elderly residents is particularly ruthless and heartless.
“One of the burglary victims in this case is in fact 100 years of age which is a fantastic achievement. At this time of life people deserve to live in peace and without fear of becoming a victim in their own home. There is, however, a great community spirit within the village and the victims are receiving support from family and local people.
“It is important to raise awareness among all householders not to leave windows open at night in unoccupied rooms, especially ground-floor rooms. Always lock windows and doors and hide the keys out of sight.
“Most thieves are opportunist and if they see an opportunity they will take it. Putting simple barriers in their way can lower the risk of you becoming a victim.
“I would urge anyone who has any information that could assist in identifying those involved to call North Yorkshire Police or Crimestoppers on the below numbers. We are currently exploring all lines of enquiry that would progress an early arrest of those involved.”
The thieves escaped with gold cuff links and collectors coins from one property and medical bags containing bandages and lotion from another. Nothing was taken from the third home.
The gold cuff-links are described as having a rough surface with a diagonal stripe across them. The coins included florins, thru’penny pieces, sixpences, a medallion and an American coin (type unknown). All coins were in a blue presentation case.
Any collectors or dealers offered these for sale are asked to contact police immediately.
Anyone who witness the burglary or has any information which could help the investigation is asked to call Harrogate CID on 0845 60 60 247.
Or, you can give information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, you do not have to give your name and may qualify for a cash reward.