Police tackling burglaries after spate of offences in Cheltenham
DETECTIVES are carrying out an anti-burglary drive after a spate of offences across Cheltenham.
Homes in areas including Alstone, Wyman's Brook, Bournside and Arle have recently been targeted and police fear there could be more to come.
They have released details of seven burglaries which took place in 10 days last month.
The culprits smashed either a window or glass panel in a door to gain access to homes.
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Jewellery, electrical items and cash were reported stolen in the break-ins.
Several arrests have already been made as part of Operation Spa, which aims to detect and prevent burglary in the town.
On Tuesday, two arrests were made in connection with the burglaries.
A 45-year-old man from Cinderford and a 17-year-old man from Gloucester were arrested on suspicion of burglary as part of the operation.
And a 14-year-old boy from Evesham was also arrested on Monday in connection with an offence committed on September 29.
All have been bailed pending further enquiries and will return to Cheltenham police station on December 2. But the culprits for many of the offences are still at large and police are keen for possible witnesses to come forward.
No one from Cheltenham has been arrested in connection with the operation.
But suggestions criminals living outside the town are targeting "more affluent" Cheltenham homes have been quashed by Cheltenham Neighbourhood Watch Committee chairman Don Kempster.
He said: "Anywhere is a target. People can travel further now so nowhere is less vulnerable than anywhere else.
"We share the same motto as the police and advise people to lock up their homes safely.
"Personally, you might not think something is important but, if the police can get information, they can put it together in a jigsaw which may lead to something."
Figures show that home burglaries are down by nine per cent across the county this year.
But officers in the north of Cheltenham are urging residents to report suspicious activity in their area as part of the drive to stop burglaries.
Inspector Roddy Gosden, who is leading Operation Spa, said: "We understand that burglaries can cause a lot of concern and worry among the community and we want to reassure them that we are being robust in our investigations to find those responsible and put them before the courts. In addition to our usual high-visibility patrols we also have officers deployed in plain clothes. So if you don't see an officer in full uniform, it does not mean we aren't there. Both overt and covert patrols are being carried out 24/7.
"The public can help us bring these thieves to justice by being vigilant and reporting suspicious activity to us by dialling 999. No matter how small it may seem we would much rather have information about activity that turns out to be legitimate than to miss the opportunity to prevent someone else from becoming a victim."