A couple from Yeovil who were burgled have thanked Avon and Somerset Police for successfully locating and returning their stolen belongings.
East Coker residents Tony Marshall, 81, and his wife Margery, 83, were burgled on the afternoon of Sunday 1 December in which a number of items including a handbag, a diary, house keys, car keys, commemorative coins and a cheque book were stolen.
Another property in East Coker was burgled the same day and a property in neighbouring West Coker was also burgled the day before.
Two male suspects were identified by CCTV having used a stolen bank card from one of the properties in a nearby fast food takeaway restaurant.
Officers believed these were the same individuals who were responsible for the other two burglaries and that they would return to the Marshall’s property to steal the car belonging to the car keys they had taken or commit further burglaries in the area.
On the following day, two males matching the description of the suspects were seen in the area near to the Marshall’s property where they were arrested and found to be in possession of a number of the items reported as stolen including the Marshall’s car keys.
Following information received from the suspects, officers were able to locate the stolen property from two of the houses, resulting in the belongings being returned to their original owners.
An 18 year man appeared at Taunton Magistrates’ Court on 4 December charged in connection with the three burglaries. He has been detained pending a further court appearance at a date yet to be set.
A 16 year old boy from Yeovil also appeared at Taunton Magistrates’ Court on 10 January in connection with the three burglaries and was served a youth referral order.
Mr Marshall commented: “Police officers arrived at our home within 20 minutes of the initial phone call and from then on we were met with the utmost kindness, efficiency and reassurance.
“The police officers said the burglars would be caught and within 48 hours they were. We were told that our stolen goods would be recovered and within a week all of our belongings – particularly my wife’s diary which I know she relies upon greatly – had been found and returned to us.
“We are so grateful we experienced Avon and Somerset Police at its best, and for the supportive follow up they gave us during this time. We could not have asked for more, and thank them for being there when we needed them.”
Last April marked the first proactive day of Operation Remedy, a coordinated effort across Avon and Somerset Police to improve force performance in relation to residential burglary, knife crime and the illegal supply of controlled drugs. In the first six months of activity, the work conducted by Operation Remedy resulted in a sustained reduction in number of burglary offences, with 661 fewer burglaries across Avon and Somerset, 9% less than the previous year.
PC Jim Card, of Operation Remedy, said: “This is a really pleasing result, particularly due to the fact we were able to locate and return a number of the stolen belongings to the original owners. We take burglary very seriously and are continuing to work hard to reduce the number of burglaries across Avon and Somerset.
“Knowing someone has illegally entered your property and stolen your belongings can have an emotional impact. Whilst we cannot turn back time and change the fact that someone has been burgled, it is comforting to be able to reunite owners with their stolen belongings and where possible bring those responsible to justice.
“The swift identification of the suspects and returning of the stolen belongings is testimony to the teamwork of officers from Operation Remedy, local neighbourhood policing and investigations.”