The spate of burglaries targeting sheds and outbuildings across Surrey started in February last year. Victims reported motorbikes, push bikes, garden tools and machinery stolen from properties in areas ranging from Knaphill to Aldershot. The stolen items were then being resold at car boot sales.
Following a successful proactive operation to link the numerous burglaries and catch the offenders, four men were arrested earlier this year. They were sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on 21 July, as follows:
- Jack Beldom, 28, of Jessiman Terrace in Shepperton, was sentenced to 30 months for one count of conspiracy to commit burglary
- Tom Cooper, 19, of Narcot Road in Buckinghamshire, was sentenced to three years for one count of conspiracy to commit burglary and three months for handling stolen goods
- Leon Campbell, 28, of Howards Road in Woking, was sentenced to three years for one count of conspiracy to commit burglary
- David Kincaid, 36, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 16 months for two counts of conspiracy to commit burglary
Surrey Police’s Investigating Officer said: “These criminals stole tens of thousands of pounds worth of goods from innocent victims with no regard for the impact of their actions. I hope this sends a clear message to any other burglars in Surrey that we are closing in on these crimes and you will not get away with it.
We have seen a rise in outbuilding burglaries over the past few months. Please do not assume that, because you are at home, you can leave a shed or outbuilding safely unlocked. Opportunistic thieves only need a few seconds, especially when faced with an unlocked door.
Fit good quality padlocks to shed doors, use anti-tamper screws on hinges, and consider securing items inside, such as bicycles, to a ground anchor or thick cable lock.
Some house alarm systems can also be configured to offer wireless coverage of sheds and other outbuildings, and motion-sensor lighting can provide an extra deterrent.