A crackdown on burglary has led to at least four arrests in Brighton over the past month.
Sussex Police is running Operation Magpie as a way of focusing efforts on break-ins to homes and commercial premises.
The force said: “In the first three weeks of the initiative 71 burglars have been arrested and questioned over raids on homes, businesses and outhouses.”
In Brighton and Hove those arrested have included
- Two suspected doorstep conmen – a 19-year-old man from London and a 20-year-old man from Gloucestershire – who were questioned on suspicion of carrying out a distraction burglary in the Withdean area of Brighton.
- A 58-year-old man and a 19-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods after a burglary in the Preston Park area of Brighton.
Detective Inspector Clare Shiel, who leads the burglary team in Brighton and Hove, said: “Although we are starting to see good arrests through this operation, we continue to see many cases where burglaries could have been prevented through simple steps.
“In Brighton and Hove alone in the past week there have been more than 10 burglaries where an opportunist has been walking past an open window and helped themselves to someone else’s property.
“This is happening both in the day and at night time. A number of the victims in these cases have said that they never thought it would happen to them.
“A burglar will not hesitate to help themselves to your belongings if they see an opportunity.
“Make it as difficult as possible for them to strike by taking every step you can to keep your home secure.
“Also, any information you can give us about suspicious behaviour can help us to catch offenders and link them back to their crimes.”
Sussex Police said that in one in five burglaries the thieves did not have to use force to gain entry into people’s homes.
Over the summer period the number of homes being burgled rises because people leave open doors or windows to try to keep cool in the warm weather.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I am encouraged by these early results which show that our dedicated operation to address the increase in burglaries in Sussex is starting to take effect.
“I know this is an issue that residents are concerned about and both I and the Chief Constable are wholly committed to tackling it.
“I also urge residents to play their part too, especially during this hot weather, and to follow crime prevention advice to ensure their homes are not a target for burglars.”
Anyone who sees a burglary being committed is asked to call Sussex Police on 999 at once.
Anyone with information about a burglary is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
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