POLICE are stepping up patrols in Southampton as they hunt a gang of people who they believe are behind a string of burglaries and thefts in the city.
The alarm was raised following 10 incidents between Friday and Sunday where items were taken from homes and cars were stolen.
A 16-year-old has been charged, another has been arrested, and an 18-year-old has also been arrested following a number of incidents over the weekend.
But officers say they are continuing to probe the incidents.
A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said: “We believe several people are committing these offences and we continue to follow up lines of enquiry to identify those responsible.
“So far we have arrested three people in connection with these burglaries and we continue to use opportunities available to us to prevent these crimes from happening.
“We are increasing our presence in the areas that have been most affected by these crimes and reminding residents to take preventative action too, such as ensuring car keys are kept away from accessible windows and doors and ensuring doors are properly locked with keys with the keys removed and put away afterwards.
“We have also increased patrols in Bitterne and Sholing, Portswood, Hedge End and West End which are the areas that have been affected. We would ask the public to help prevent these crimes too by following our crime prevention advice.”
The crime spree is being linked to the current heatwave, and residents are being asked to ensure that their homes are secure.
People in ground floor buildings are being urged to keep windows closed overnight, as well as locking their doors with a key rather than just shutting them.
A police spokeswoman said: “We know it’s really warm weather, but it’s important to consider whether you are leaving your home vulnerable to burglary.
“Think about putting your house and car keys well away from windows and doors, and don’t leave them in the lock.”
Anyone with information on any burglaries in the area can call police on 101.
Source : DailyEcho