Category Archives: Burglary

Inside the mind of a burglar

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I am a burglar, it’s what I do. Houses, sheds, garages. I’m not bothered what I break into, as long as there’s something to steal and I don’t get caught. I’ve been caught before, a few times and I’ve been to prison. I didn’t like jail and I don’t want to go back there, but I’m a burglar, it’s what I do.

What am I looking for you may ask? Easy targets, I don’t want to spend ages trying to get in to a house and not managing it, and I don’t want to get caught, so if there’s someone at home I’ll go to the house where there’s nobody. That house over there looks like an easy target, there’s a nice high hedge which I can hide behind and nobody can see me from the road and wonder what I’m up to. There’s no car on the drive and the curtains are open. The lights are all off and it’s nine o’clock at night, they must all be out, but for how long? I might come back tomorrow and see if it’s the same, they’re probably on holiday.

I really don’t want to bump into anyone in the house, I don’t want anyone calling the police on me. Some people are getting too clever nowadays and trying to fool us by making their house look like they’re in when they’re not. Putting things like timers on their lights and these devices that flash and make it look like there’s a telly on in the house. Well they put me off. If I’m not sure I can’t take the risk. I’ll go somewhere else.

The places I really avoid are those that have alarms and CCTV. If someone has gone to the trouble of putting those in they really have protected their house and I reckon they will also have made sure that the locks on the doors and windows are strong. Even worse if they’ve got locked gates so I can’t get around the back of the house.

I really hate those busybody Neighbourhood Watch types. Are they trying to gang up on me or something? I hate it when people are looking out of their windows and watching what I’m up to, signs and stickers advertising Neighbourhood Watch really put me off. Dogs don’t bother me though. I’m ok with dogs and anyone who thinks that just because they’ve got a big dog they don’t even need to lock their doors has got another thing coming.

Sometimes I’ll just try my luck and walk up to doors and try them. If they aren’t locked, bonus, I’ll just walk in and help myself. If there’s someone there I’ll make up a rubbish excuse, something like “Sorry, I thought this was my mate John’s house” and walk away.

Usually though I have to break in, I do that by prising the window or door with the short crow bar that I carry down my trousers. It’s difficult to prise open a door or a window with a load of dead locks on it. Easy though if they’ve left the key in the door – just break the glass and turn the key.

I’ll nick anything but I really want stuff that I can get rid of easily; jewellery and cash mainly, and I know where to find them. They’re in the master bedroom. People put them there because they think they are safe. They think “If we get broken into, they won’t be able to steal our jewellery because they’ll wake us up if they try to get into our bedroom”. Well I’m not going to break in while you’re at home am I?

Sometimes, if I can’t get into the house I’ll have a look in the shed, it’s amazing what people will leave in there. I stole a bike the other day and got £300 for it. I reckon it was really worth two grand but some people want big discounts if the stuff’s stolen. But all the shed had on it was a cheap padlock. I can’t believe it sometimes. People will spend two grand on a bike, then stick it in a shed with a £5 padlock. Easy meat for the pair of bolt croppers I’ve got in my coat.

My life is getting harder though. The police keep on telling people to make sure they have good locks on their doors and join Neighbourhood Watch. Whatever next, anyone would think that they didn’t want to get their houses burgled.

This article is not the words of one burglar but of many. It is written from genuine conversations with experienced detectives that have interviewed many burglars and these are the things they have told them.

Between us we can beat the burglars. For more information please visit our website

Andy Street

Police Sergeant


Anti-burglary campaign

The St. Ives and District Neighbourhood Problem Solving Team have recently commenced an anti-burglary campaign centred on Hemingford Grey. We are aware that for some time now this village has been targeted by burglars and despite the efforts of police and Neighbourhood Watch, residents have still been victims of crimes.

It is our intention to work with the Parish Council, local residents and businesses to target harden the village against criminality. So what do we mean by this?

  • We would like to take a “whole village approach” where we all work together to make the village less desirable to criminals, and harder to commit crime.
  • We would like to instigate lasting change in the village to reduce crime. The Police will not be successful in acting alone, we need every one to take part and help. To have a lasting and successful affect we need to ensure there are no gaps in our plan and everyone contributes to take steps to target harden our homes and businesses.

Please take the time to read the attached crime prevention plan below, we will be circulating a date for a public meeting where you can have your say and talk with us directly about crime prevention in the village.

We also ask you to keep your eyes and ears open and report any suspicious activity to the police dialling 101, or in an emergency 999.

Kind regards,

Sgt Andy Street


Bicycle security – tips for securing your pride and joy or your summer toy

Matt Lauch is a PCSO from the Peterborough Volume Crime Team. He investigates crimes ranging from criminal damage to assault. Part of his role is to deliver crime prevention messages. Here he provides us with some top tips for securing bicycles.

For many, the summer months are a great time for people to dust off their bikes, pump up the tyres and oil up the chains before venturing off on a leisurely trip in the city or the local countryside.

We often see an increase in cycling for leisure due to the better weather.

This can bring some problems. Cycles are a target for thieves, they can simply seem to disappear off the face of the earth, never to be seen by their owner again.

Cycles are often stripped down for parts or sold on elsewhere, with more expensive bikes being a prime target. Police do recover many cycles and often catch the thieves but there are things you can do to reduce the risk of a theft of your cycle.

No matter where you go, you should always keep your cycle locked and secure in a good location and preferably use a strong Sold Secure Gold Rated D-Lock.

Country parks, where cycles are often used, can be a target location for the cycle thief. Along with caravan and camping parks. Just because an area looks and feels safe, does not mean a cycle thief won’t pay a visit to take a bike or two.

Sheds are also a prime target. Making your shed as secure as possible will slow down a thief. Consider shed alarms and securing any windows. Securing any bikes inside with strong D-Locks and cables, attached to a secure ground bolt or heavy item like a lawnmower, will certainly cause problems for a thief.

Consider recording your cycle details – this will help if your cycle is stolen. Take a photo of the it and any distinguishing features. Record the frame number which is underneath the bike, down by the pedals. This will help police with their enquiries.

Registering your cycle on a website such as or will help you keep a record of your details. You can also record other valuables on immobilise too.

Top tips:

  • Invest in a Sold Secure Gold Rated D-Lock
  • Mark your bicycle with a registration pack or simply mark the frame where you would be able to describe and recognise the mark if found
  • Use a fitted helmet and front and rear lights. It is just as important to secure your bicycle as it is to be safe when riding

Check out our bike security video




One’s home is one’s castle

According to ‘Yahoo!’ the explanation for the expression – “one’s home is one’s castle” – is that a person’s home is that person’s dream place. The explanation continues by setting out that the size of a house is not the most important determinant; instead, it is the people living in it and the love shared by the people in the house that makes it special: making it a dream place like a castle. I like this explanation; I like this expression and I am often reminded of it, particularly now when one of the priorities of Cambridgeshire Constabulary is concerned with dwelling burglary: preventing its occurrence, identifying, pursuing and prosecuting those who commit this crime.

I was also reminded of both the expression and supporting explanation when I was out with my close circle of friends recently. There are four of us and when one was recounting her experiences having suffered a dwelling burglary earlier this year, it was only me that could not totally empathize. My three close friends have all been the victim of dwelling burglary. In order to provide some reassurance I should point out that not one of them lives in Huntingdonshire. Here, we are seeing less dwelling burglary offences being reported. Certainly, during the course of 2015 / 2016 there were on average 25 dwelling burglaries reported within the district each month. In the preceding year (2014 / 15) that monthly average was 29.

But back to my friends, and, indeed, using my professional experiences of other dwelling burglary victims that I have encountered what always strikes me about dwelling burglary more than any other acquisitive crime is very far detached from the numbers: it is all about the sensations; the feelings.

When my friends spoke about arriving home to find that their ‘castles’ had been broken into they talked about turning their keys in their exterior doors. They talked about opening these doors and immediately sensing something was wrong. They were struck by a cold sensation – gusts of cold wind – caused by the fact that elsewhere in their home there was an insecurity caused by a smashed window. These insecurities were letting in the elements: the cold from outside and this more than anything else was their indication that something was wrong.

As they entered further into their homes, again, they told a similar tale. They found drawers opened; they found their personal possessions missing.

My friends are not alone: they are not the only ones to have suffered dwelling burglaries, and like so many other sufferers, they have had their personal possessions taken from them. One friend had a necklace stolen from her home; the necklace having been a gift from her since-deceased mother when she – my friend – was 18. One friend had her computer stolen and this meant having her memories that had been recorded via photographs taken from her because they had all been stored on the device’s built-in hard drive.

I write again: my friends’ experiences are not unique. Indeed, I share them for that very reason. They are personal accounts of what many victims of dwelling burglary experience and suffer, and, whilst we can take some reassurance within this district following some reductions in the incidence of this crime we can never be complacent.

I know that my Neighbourhood Watch colleagues have never been nor would never become complacent; I know that there are many motivated and caring people within this district, again, who have never been nor never would become complacent. Together with their police service they work to keep their communities and their homes safe; they establish Neighbourhood Watch Schemes, they look out for their neighbours: quite simply, they are community-spirited.

Another way in which individuals can seek to attack the crime that is dwelling burglary is to take the ‘Big Bad Wolf’ anti-burglary test.

Introduced by my South Cambridgeshire Area Commander colleague, Chief Inspector James Sutherland, it is an online survey that even back in January of this year, only a few months after its launch, had more than 2,000 South Cambridgeshire residents checking the security of their homes.

The test is designed in such a way that home residents can find out if their home security is such that their homes could be made of ‘straw, twigs or bricks’. Of course, this is a nod to the ‘Three Little Pigs’ tale. When he was interviewed about the test, Chief Inspector James Sutherland set out that 17 per cent of respondents had been scored as being vulnerable – having houses made of straw – while only two per cent had achieved the more secure ‘house made of brick’ status.

When we very imminently launch our survey – bespoke as it will be to Huntingdonshire – we will offer those graded as vulnerable a full home security survey by specially trained police community support officers (PCSOs), and, graded as having a house made of straw or not, there are key and practical steps that we can all take to make our homes more secure. Certainly, I would encourage anyone wanting to find out more as to how they can keep their homes safe and secure to visit the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website. I would also encourage you to take part in the Bad Wolf survey coming to our computers very soon. Find out for yourself, have you got a house made of straw, twigs or bricks?

Hopefully, it will be the latter: it will be bricks and you will be able to take some reassurance from that fact.

Hopefully too, you can take reassurance from the fact that you are soon to get a new Area Commander, and, moreover, that the officer taking over the helm is an experienced detective who is looking forward to the new challenge that is Huntingdonshire. I am moving on. I started this role stating that I was “proud” to serve the district. This was my position in September 2013; it remains my position today. Many of my friends, family – indeed my life – exists with me in Huntingdonshire. I have thoroughly loved my time as the Huntingdonshire Area Commander: it is a role that has challenged me, but, that constantly inspires and motivates me. I leave behind a district served by dedicated and professional officers and police staff. Indeed, by way of an example, two off-duty officers – one of the district’s PCSOs and one of the district’s constables – successfully achieved the arrest of a male who had been proving elusive. One of the officers was enjoying a bike ride in the sunshine; one was walking her dog, but such was their commitment to public service – to keeping our communities safe – that they immediately came together, made contact with on-duty officers and using the bicycle and a pincer-type movement, caused the arrest of the male. He was subsequently charged and remanded for court. A dangerous male was taken off the streets; potential victims were safeguarded.

This is just one example of the work that your local police service undertakes each and every day. With or without me, they strive to keep us all safe.

I will miss them; I will miss you.

Please, please keep safe, and, of course, take care. Thank you for all your support; I have enjoyed working both for you and with you.