'The worst January I've ever known': Residents warned to stay alert as group of burglars target homes in Tolworth

Home-owners in Tolworth have been warned to stay alert of a group of burglars targeting empty homes in the area after the 'worst January ever seen' by the force.

Alexandra ward's police team has sent a letter to residents warning there has been about 80 burglaries in Tolworth and Surbiton in January - all seemingly done by the same group. Officers said the group is targeting empty houses, entering through back gardens and forcing entry through windows with a garden tool.

Last month, Kingston police launched Operation Robinson to combat the rise of burglaries in Kingston, which the force said will include increasing patrols, placing undercover officers in burglary hotspots and other 'covert tactics'.

Across London, the Metropolitan Police also launched Operation Bumblebee, an initiative aimed at protecting residents against burglaries in the coming winter months. Despite its launch, Kingston police say detectives have recorded a rise in the number of burglaries in the borough. The Alexandra ward police team has released a list of precautions residents should take in light of the rise.

They include:

  • Leave a vehicle parked in your driveway while you're out. If a friendly neighbour has one to spare it would be useful to ask if they could park it in your driveway.
  • Leave at least two lights on in the front-facing windows of your house, preferably on a timer if you have one.
  • Keep your side gates locked and, if necessary, ask your neighbours about doing the same.
  • Speak to your neighbours about the problems in the area at the moment. The more awareness there is in the community, the better the chance we have of catching them.
  • Call 999 if you witness anyone acting in a suspicious manner. This is open to interpretation but please go with your instinct. If you think something is wrong it probably is.

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