UNSOLVED CRIMES: Northampton district hit by string of car break ins

CCTV footage of a thief smashing a car window before he reaches into the car, grabs a handbag and makes a getaway on his pushbike.
CCTV footage of a thief smashing a car window before he reaches into the car, grabs a handbag and makes a getaway on his pushbike.

A Northampton district has been hit by a string of thefts and car break-ins.

More than 15 incidents of thieves ransacking vehicles were reported in the past month in Kingsthorpe, and streets have been struck repeatedly.

Along one cul-de-sac, six cars were broken into in one night without any alarms set off.

The admin assistant for the Kingsthorpe Crime Facebook page, which reports local incidents to social media, said the number of crimes was increasing.

She said: “They’re relentless. The volume of car crimes in Kingsthorpe is ridiculous.

“I get emails all the time from people who have had their car broken into, at least every week and days and days in a row sometimes.

“My household has been affected three times in the last three months, and my own car was broken into.”

Residents of Obelisk Rise, Kingsthorpe, said valuables were stolen from six cars in the same night with no damage and no alarms. Another car was opened and emptied in the same way a week later.

Jason Tear, 48, from Brixworth, said: “My employee’s van was broken into in Kingsthorpe two weeks ago. They took £1,200 worth of tools.

“We saw him do it on CCTV. There was no damage to the van. They have something that lets them in.”

Louise Ashby, 46, from Clare Street, had her car broken into while picking up her daughter from dance class.

She said: “I just parked up to go inside the studio for my daughter. I knew I shouldn’t have left my handbag inside but I was just going to be a few minutes. When I came back my window was smashed and my handbag was gone.

“The shop next door caught it on CCTV. A man on a pushbike comes and pushes this tool into the corner of the window. It just shatters to pieces.

“It took him 14 seconds.

“I’ve been gutted ever since. I think about what if my 13-year-old daughter had been in the car. It would have been terrifying.”

The admin assistant said: “There’s very little response from the police. Once it’s been reported they give it a crime number and ask if there was any CCTV, but what can they do?

“You can’t blame the police. It would be wonderful if you could have police on patrol every night on every street but it’s not physically possible. They’ve only got so many resources.

“I’ve had enough of being a victim of crime. It takes its toll on everybody affected. We would never leave any sort of valuables in the car anymore, but even then we have had someone burgle the house while we were in the living room. They just opened the front door and took our tools and my handbag.

“There is no solution. If they want to get into your car they will get into it. But don’t give them a reason to.

“Don’t leave valuables in the car. If you have CCTV, point it at the car. And check it every morning, because even if they don’t steal from you, they might walk past your house or look in your window, and you can pass that along.”

Dave Rayfield, inspector for Northampton, said: “We have seen an increase in car crime across Northampton over the last six months and our Safer Community Team officers and PSCOs target patrols in local areas where there are particular issues.

“If a crime is in progress we urge people to call 999 immediately. However, often these crimes are not discovered until several hours after they have been committed so we also ask local residents to report any suspicious activity they witness on 101 to assist us.”