We are calling on everyone across Avon and Somerset to take extra care of their jewellery and valuables.
There have been a number of burglaries across Bristol and South Gloucestershire in the past month, where thieves have targeted homes because they believe there is valuable jewellery or high value gold inside.
On several occasions, witnesses have described how people have ‘canvassed’ the area in advance, offering services such as driveway cleaning or gardening, as a way of choosing a property to target.
Bristol Community Liaison Officer PC Keith Openshaw, QPM, said: “Many people have precious jewellery and gold items in their homes, some of which are family heirlooms, handed down through generations.
Unfortunately, burglars are aware of cultural traditions and they do not hold them sacred. They know that they can sell on high quality gold for large sums of cash, with relative ease and anonymity.
“Of course, these items of jewellery have a very high sentimental value and if they’re stolen, the victims may feel as though they have lost part of their family history. This is why we are urging everyone to take extra care and to report anything suspicious to us immediately.
“You are our eyes and ears on the ground and without your support, we cannot catch these heartless criminals who see your family heirlooms as a quick way to make some cash.”
Follow these steps to keep your home and belongings safe
- Be wary of advertising an empty house, by posting messages on Facebook about dates and times of family weddings or parties.
- Make sure all doors and windows are closed and locked before you go out and before you go to bed. Always use your alarm.
- Jewellery should be stored securely away from the home.
- Take photos of your valuables and write a short description of each one.
- Don’t keep large amounts of cash in your home. Store it in a bank, building society or post office account.
- Register all your property on www.immobilise.com, that way, if we recover your property, we can return it to you.
If you suspect you are being burgled, call 999 straight away and wait in a safe place for help to arrive. Do not enter your property if there is a chance the suspect is still inside.
If you have any concerns about suspicious activity please tell us online.