Top crime trends for Teddington and the borough continue to include burglaries – particularly from sheds and garages. Residents are encouraged to have their bikes marked for free at Police marking events. Bikes recovered after arrests but not re-united with owners are sent to charitable programs or sold at auction to help benevolent funds.
Police also ask home-owners to make it as difficult for thieves to get into gardens and around houses – tall fences/doors, trellises and padlocks on outside doors can make it difficult to get in and out with stolen goods, good hinges and locks on sheds can help prevent thefts too. Alternatively you could also keep bees in your shed as this Hampton resident did, to the surprise of a burgler!
Teddington Natwest cashpoint that has had devices attached
Distraction theft at cashpoints happens in the area, they also occasionally have devices attached to them that aim to help part you with your money. Always cover the keypad when you type in your PIN – this advice is to prevent cameras attached to the cashpoint looking down that can record this information and then use if another device or person nearby takes your card. The left-hand side Natwest ATM is particularly susceptible to these devices due to the lip above the screen that they can be attached to.
Several BMWs have been stolen in the area without keys being first taken, following similar thefts across London. As BMWs can be unlocked and started electronically, police are advising the purchase of physical steering locks and also get in touch with BMW who may be able to apply a free security upgrade.
If a locksmith sticker like the above appears on your front door or window, remove it as soon as possible – these are sometimes used by criminals who visit areas, tagging ‘targets’ that are then burgled on following days. Some are so organised that they steal only gold items, filling envelopes to send immediately to cash-for-gold companies, posting them nearby so that they wouldn’t be carrying stolen items if stopped by the police.
The Teddington Safer Neighbourhoods Team are always interested in knowing who is in the area and recently there have been complaints about pushy door to door salesmen – mostly selling cleaning products. If you experience this or any refuse to display ID, call 020 8721 2748 or 101 to inform police that sellers are in the area with a description, also the registration of any vans that drop sellers off. Most companies are legitimate and are dropped off in 6-8 person teams to cover areas, then return to their home towns.
See the Community Safer Partnership January Newsletter with more info, advice on phone fraud which has affects the area and a new ‘Minority Report’ style crime prevention technique that has already had some success!
[Update 24/02/2014] Two men were seen acting suspiciously around the Halifax cashpoint – queueing up, pretending to change their mind and watching others type in their PIN. Police were made aware of their details.