Nine men who targeted shops, venues and businesses in North East Lincolnshire have been charged with burglary offences – and two of them are already behind bars.
Shaun Parker (pictured right), 30, of St Peter’s Avenue, Cleethorpes, was jailed for 36 weeks and order to pay a £115 Victim’s Surcharge after admitting breaking into a St Peter’s Avenue food store on April 19 with intent to steal, breaking into a DIY store off Peaks Parkway and stealing drills on November 30 and December 1, as well as four counts of shop theft.
Michael Winchester (pictured centre), 33, of no fixed abode, was jailed for eight weeks and ordered to pay a £115 Victim’s Surcharge after admitting stealing perfume from a store in Freshney Place on February 19, along with six further counts of shop theft.
Mark Gibson (pictured left), 37, of Tivoli Gardens, was given a six month community rehabilitation order with a drug rehabilitation order and ordered to pay £400 compensation after admitting to stealing a TV from a community building in Freeman Street.
Detective Sergeant Tom Kelly said: “We have arrested a total of 13 people after a number of firms across the borough were broken into.
“Of those, we have charged nine, two have been jailed, one has been given a community order and the remaining six are due before court in the coming weeks.
“However, we don’t plan to stop there. We know that owners and staff invest a great deal of time, money and energy into businesses in our area, so it has a huge impact when someone breaks in and steals or causes damage and that’s why it’s important to us to find these people and put them before the courts.”
The others charged are:
Christian Willoughby, 37, of Salacon Way, Grimsby, admitted one count of burglary, three counts of theft, two counts of fraud and one of stealing a car on May 12. He will be sentenced at Grimsby Crown Court on June 21. Dean Bellamy, 33, of Rutland Street, Grimsby, is charged with breaking into a Victoria Street furniture store and stealing lamps on April 14 and breaking into a DIY store off Peaks Parkway with intent to steal on May 29. He was due to appear before Grimsby Magistrates Court yesterday (Thursday, May 30). Shane Edwards, 30, of Grafton Street, Grimsby, is charged with breaking into a social club on Responso Avenue on March 24. He was bailed to first appear before Grimsby Magistrates Court on May 28. Liam James, 26, of Duncombe Street, Grimsby, is charged with breaking into a reception area of a hostel with intent to steal and criminal damage on April 23. He was due to appear before Grimsby Magistrates Court on April 24. Sean Bunce, 38, of Elsenham Road, Grimsby, is charged with breaking into a Grimsby pub and stealing cash. He is due to appear at Grimsby Magistrates Court on July 5. Benjamin Tuck, of Kings Street, Market Rasen, is charged with breaking into a store in west St Mary’s Gate during the night of April 28. He is bailed to appear before Grimsby Magistrates Court on August 1.
DS Kelly added: “We often find that a small number of people are responsible for the majority of these break-ins, so we’re hopeful that these arrests will make a big impact and reduce the number of reports we receive.
“Of course, that’s not all we’re doing to tackle the issue. We also work with health services, the council and others to help deal with the root cause of people’s offending.
“The majority of people who commit these kind of offences are doing it to try and fund an addiction, so by working together to help them get the treatment they need we can make a long-term difference.
“The other side of our work is around prevention. While burglars can be cunning and make it their business to try and get in, we make it our business to help you keep them out.
“Our officers have been visiting businesses across the area to offer help and advice on how to avoid falling prey to burglars.
“And while we can’t get to everyone personally, we want to spread the word to as many firms as possible to help prevent others being targeted.”
External Security Measures
Make sure any service doors are always locked and secure when they’re not in use.
Invest in CCTV to cover any vulnerable areas. Digital 24-hour CCTV is highly recommended, as it provides good quality images. You can get advice on buying surveillance equipment from theSurveillance Camera Commissioner.
Make sure that there is good lighting all around the premises.
Keep any bins and other materials secure and stored away from the premises, so they can’t be climbed on to gain access.
Maintain any nearby trees or bushes, so they can’t be used to provide cover for anyone trying to hide from view.
Look around for any weak points a burglar may target if they wanted to break in and explore how you can make them less vulnerable.
Doors and windows are particularly vulnerable but there are products available which can deter break-ins. VisitSecured By Design for more information
Consider investing in external shutters – but bear in mind you may require planning permission to have them installed.
Strengthen windows by using attack-resistant laminated glass in sturdy frames wherever possible. Alternatively, film can be applied to the glass to make it more resilient.
External bollards can be used to protect frontages from ram raiders but again, you’re likely to need planning permission.
Internal Security Measures
Move high value items away from windows at night.
Try not to keep cash on the premises – including charity boxes – and always use a bolted-down safe with a time lock and anti-tamper sensors that trigger the alarm.
Keep stock out of sight wherever possible and keep your stock room locked.
Smoke-generating devices that go off on unauthorised entry create a smokescreen and help prevent burglary without damaging your stock.
Don’t leave keys on the premises and make sure that only designated staff have copies. Keep a list of keyholders who can be contacted in case of emergency.
Online Security Measures
Modern thieves don’t have to break in to steal from your business – so make sure your digital assets are as well protected as your physical ones.
And this is equally as important if you’re a small business with everything on a laptop as a large chain with multiple devices.