Essex; Thieves’ overnight raid on village

ELECTRICAL goods and two outboard motors have been stolen during a �4700 night-time raid on a rural village.

Hatfield Heath was the target for four separate thefts sometime between Wednesday evening and late Thursday morning (July 28 and 29).

Police are appealing for information after crooks made off with garden equipment, two outboard motors, a digital camera, a laptop computer, and power tools.

Officers say that entry was gained to two unlocked sheds, one unlocked outbuilding and one locked outbuilding. They told the public to be vigilant.

Uttlesford crime reduction advisor Peter Caulfield urged residents to make a note of gardening equipment, including make model and serial number.

“Mark it in a highly visible manner,” he said. “Such as scratching or engraving or using a permanent security marker, showing your postcode and house number or name.

“This makes it less attractive to thieves as the equipment is then much harder to sell on the black market.

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“Lock sheds with bolts that cannot be prised off. Larger items such as bikes and lawn mowers should ideally be chained up securely.”

There are also plenty of ways of increasing the security of back gardens, particularly through using what experts call “defensive planting”.

Mr Caulfield said: “This means putting prickly shrubs in areas of your garden where they can deter would-be thieves. So, if your garden borders public areas consider planting prickly bushes in that area.”

He said residents should also consider topping fences with trellis that will collapse on the weight of someone climbing it, or alternately adding a spiky topping to fences, with relevant warning signs affixed to the fence.

Anyone with information about these crimes should contact Dunmow Police on 0300 333 4444, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.