POLICE in Ashbourne are stepping up patrols following a ‘spike’ in the number of burglaries from sheds and agricultural buildings.
Pad locks into sheds, barns and garages are being broken and locks forced in villages surrounding Ashbourne and officers say the darker nights may be giving burglars opportunities.
Buildings in Kniveton, Kirk Ireton and Hulland Ward have been among those hit in recent weeks and detectives say they are following up a ‘number of leads’ as they work to catch the culprits.
Ashbourne’s sergeant, Denis Murphy, said: “We’ve certainly seen a number of offences in out-lying villages and it looks like agricultural buildings on farms and small-holdings are being targeted.
“We’ve seen pad locks removed and locks broken and, in some cases, the locks have been broken but nothing has been taken which we suspect might be preparation work for another visit.
“We’re asking people to be vigilant and continue to report suspicious people and vehicles in their area.
“In response we’ve stepped up patrols and we’re also working hard to find out who is responsible and pursuing several lines of enquiry.
“It’s settled down a bit just recently but that doesn’t mean we’re getting complacent, we still need to be able to react and we are still re-doubling our efforts to investigate the incidents.”
Sergeant Murphy says the thefts, which have also occurred in Ashbourne over recent weeks, fit in with a usual pattern seen around this time of year but the number seen recently represents what he calls a ‘spike’, which has prompted the response and warnings.
He said: “It certainly fits the pattern. The daylight hours diminish and we get an increase in this type of crime.
“We’re still at a very early stage so I wouldn’t want to say whether there was one individual involved or a group of individuals but we’re keeping an open mind and pursuing a number of leads.
“I would be very reluctant to say at this stage it was just one person or one group.”
To find out more about crime prevention or to report a crime call 101.