We have arrested eight people following warrants in relation to a large-scale burglary conspiracy investigation this morning, Tuesday 20 October. The activity is part of a 12-month operation into suspected burglary conspiracy, with more than 150 offences believed linked, across Merseyside, Lancashire and Cheshire and predominantly targeting car keys.
A total of nine warrants were carried out in Merseyside and Lancashire, resulting in the following eight arrests for burglary conspiracy offences:
A 37-year-old man from Blackburn
An 18-year-old man from Dovecot
A 19-year-old man from Knotty Ash
A 34-year-old man from Knotty Ash
A 28-year-old man from Aigburth
A 35-year-old woman from Blackburn
A 50-year-old woman from Stoneycroft
A 19-year-old woman from Stockbridge Village
All eight people have been taken to police stations across Merseyside.
Detective Inspector Steve Ball, leading this investigation, said: “This morning’s activity is a large step forward in this long-running and complex investigation, and those arrested will now be questioned. We’d like to thank our neighbouring forces Lancashire and Cheshire for their continued assistance, as we continue to investigate across the region. The suspected scale of offences and victim affected means that this could be one of the most significant burglary operations ever carried out in the north west region.
“Today is also a good opportunity to highlight what measures we can all take to further secure our properties against would-be burglars, especially as the shorter days draw in. People’s homes are left in darkness for longer, giving criminals more opportunity to break in. Taking advice given by the police can help make life as difficult as possible for them and decreases the chances of your home being targeted. Improving security features like locks and alarms, and making sure your house always looks occupied can make a big difference.
“Often people are either forgetting to both push the handle up as well as turn the key, or they are leaving it unlocked while round at a neighbour’s or elsewhere in the house. Opportunists can try dozens of handles in a street and it won’t be long before they find one that opens. It is very important that people are extra-vigilant this time of year and ensure that they take home security seriously. Many burglaries can be prevented by taking very simple measures such as ensuring all windows and doors are locked, even when at home.”
Some simple advice to keep your home safe this winter:
Remember to lock all your doors and windows, even if you are at home.
Keep all your valuables out of sight.
Fit outside security lighting.
Report any suspicious people or vehicles in your neighbourhood. Many crimes are prevented and people arrested after members of the public report unusual or suspicious activity to the police.
People who have UPVC doors are reminded to fully secure them. If you simply lift the handle you will NOT fully engage all of the locks into the frame. You MUST also double lock the door using the key.
Remember to remove keys from doors once they are locked.
Don’t advertise new items you may have bought such as electrical equipment to people by leaving the empty boxes outside your home.
Try to dispose of the packaging carefully by taking it to a recycling centre or keep it out of sight until the day your rubbish is collected.
During the dark nights, use a light timing device to switch the lights on.
Don’t leave your car keys on display (on window ledges/worktops) and don’t leave them by doors or windows where they could be grabbed with a hook or cane.
Always check your front and back door are secure even if you are in, burglaries can often occur via insecure back doors whilst residents are at home.
Secure your shed and garage properly. Don’t leave tools lying around these could be used to help offender gain entry to your home.
Further advice on keeping your home secure can be found here: https://www.merseyside.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/
Detective Inspector Ball continued: “We regularly act on information from those communities affected by burglary across Merseyside and alongside other forces, so come forward if you know anything about suspected burglary and the sale of stolen goods where you are. We’ll act on all information provided. Due to the focussed activity of Operation Castle and the impact of COVID, burglary offences have decreased across Merseyside this year, and we’ll continue to work proactively with communities and our partners to keep this progress going.
“Burglars have been sentenced to a total of more than 300 years in prison since we began the operation in 2019, and the impact on victims and the wider community has been really encouraging. We have an absolute commitment to all burglary victims to keep putting offenders before the courts.”
Always call 999 if a burglary is in progress. Anyone with information on burglary is asked to contact our dedicated email address on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also pass information to the social media desk @MerPolCC, call 101 or you can call or the independent charity @CrimestoppersUK anonymously, on 0800 555 111.