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Warning after series of burglaries

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Police have issued a warning and a request for people to report suspicious activity following a series of burglaries in the Cotswolds.

In some of the burglaries it is believed that those involved were attempting to steal high-performance vehicles and breaking into properties to take car keys or steal other items.

Patrols are taking place and work is ongoing to try and locate and arrest those involved in the spate of incidents.

While enquiries continue, police are asking people to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity, such as people scoping out properties by driving by slowly in vehicles.

The majority of the incidents have happened during the daytime, mainly in the afternoon, and have involved a group of people wearing face coverings and in possession of golf clubs or crowbars. They have then fled at speed in a vehicle, and several different vehicles have been used in the crimes.

In an incident in Mickleton at around 2.30pm three men wearing face coverings and in possession of a crowbar broke into a property by smashing a rear patio door.

They were disturbed by someone inside and they fled in a vehicle. It is believed that they were likely attempting to steal two high-performance vehicles which were parked at the address.

Officers attended, including with support from the National Police Air Service, however they were not located.

Other incidents in recent days include reports of break ins and attempt burglaries in Tetbury, Weston-sub-Edge, Chipping Campden, Shipton Oliffe, Farmington and other surrounding areas. A vehicle which was stolen from Shipton Oliffe was later recovered in Bourton-on-the-Water.

People have been home during several of the incidents, which has led to the offenders fleeing. No-one has been physically injured, however people are shaken by what has happened.

A report has also been made of a vehicle being refuelled at a petrol station by someone wearing a face covering to hide their identity and then leaving without payment, which may be linked to the series.

Police are therefore asking staff at petrol stations to remain vigilant and to report suspicious activity immediately by calling police on 999.

A vehicle was recently stopped out of county by another police force and three men, aged 20, 21 and 34, were arrested on suspicion of committing burglaries in the Cotswolds.

They were released on bail with conditions to not enter the area or associate with each other while further enquiries take place.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who has not already spoken to police and who may have CCTV or dashcam footage which could assist the ongoing investigations. 

Anyone with footage or information can provide this to police online by completing the following form and quoting incident 348 of 13 March: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/

Call 999 if a crime is happening at the time, a suspect is nearby, if someone is in immediate danger or there is a risk of serious damage to a property.

Did you know you can report information anonymously through the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers? Reporting is completely anonymous and you may be eligible for a reward of up to £1000. You can call 0800 555 111 or report information online. More information can be found here: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously

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