According to a report in the Gloucestershire Echo, the man arrested for sash window burglaries has been released on police bail, until his court appearance.
Paul Harwood of Suffolk Square in Cheltenham, was arrested in connection with 24 attempted break ins during a 5 weeks spell.
Sergeant Jo Fletcher, from Cheltenham Police, said: “We are urging residents in Montpellier, Lansdown and Tivoli to be extra vigilant following a series of burglaries where premises with sash windows are being targeted, particularly basement flats. An offender is forcing front or rear sash windows to gain entry and sealing laptops, jewellery and cash. The offences tend to be between 8pm and 10pm, but some burglaries have been as early as dusk.
Police have repeated advice concerning properties with sash widows, in that old versions this style of window can be very easy to force entry.
Old timber box sash windows are a soft target especially if additional locks or bolts are not fitted. However the advice still stands for more modern PVCu sash windows because cheap versions of these can also be broken into.
Anyone concerned about theft through sash windows should look for manufacturers and installers whose products are certified as “enhanced security” through the polices forces preferred standard, Secured by Design (SBD)
If you are thinking of new sash windows, do look for SBD and ask if the windows are FULLY reinforced with steel sections, the cheap ones are just plastic sections and offer very little resistance. Look at the locks, do they look flimsy, if they do, they probably are. The better quality fittings have 4 screws (2 vertical and two horizontal ones) into the steel reinforcement and made from cast stainless steel, not soft aluminium castings.
Basement windows can be of particular concern, mainly because they are below street level and generally out of sight. Make these areas bright, add extra security lights, consider external grilles or if you have internal shutters, close them!
Residents in Cheltenham seeking further crime prevention advice and guidance can contact their local PCSO. Contact details can be found here: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/neighbourhood-policing/cheltenham/