‘Opportunist’ thieves targeting Battle area

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OPPORTUNISTIC thieves are being blamed for a series of break-ins across the Battle area.

Properties in Battle, Catsfield and Sedlescombe have been targeted in the past fortnight, with thieves escaping with jewellery and cash.

Last week the Observer reported how a safe containing $1,000 in cash, £900, a passport, credit cards, bank documents and other currencies was taken from a house in Bowmans Drive, Battle.

An Apple iPad was also taken during the burglary, which happened on September 4.

The police are linking the theft to two other burglaries in Hastings, where jewellery and gold was stolen from properties in Roundwood Road and Amherst Road.

Since then, police have received reports of three other burglaries which are not being linked, but officers are blaming ‘opportunistic thieves’.

Police received reports of an attempted break-in at a property in The Green, Catsfield, between Monday 3 and Friday 7 September.

The house was empty at the time of the raid and the incident was reported to police by a concerned neighbour.

The would-be intruder had tried to get into the house via a rear window.

Another thief tried his luck at a property in North Trade Road, Battle.

A door was damaged during an attempted break-in between September 9 and 15.

And on September 13, a Sedlescombe resident reported that a number of items of jewellery were taken during a burglary at a property in The Street on August 24/25.

The items included an Omega watch, three pendants, including one with a black and white jewelled flower and heart, and two pairs of earrings.

Burglaries in the area traditionally ‘spike’ during the summer months when residents leave windows and doors open as the weather gets hotter.

A second ‘spike’ often happens during the winter when the nights draw in.

But Sussex Police pointed out that despite the recent spate, the rate of burglaries in the Battle area has fallen by 19.7 per cent.

Between April and September 2012, 61 burglaries and attempted burglaries were reported.

These include break-ins and attempted break-ins to properties, sheds and garages.

For the same period in 2011, the figure stood at 76.

PC Jayne Cleverley, of the Battle Neighbourhood Policing Team, said it is important that residents continue to report any suspicious behaviour.

She said: “Unfortunately we have had a number of burglaries recently.

“Some of these were just attempts which show just how security-minded the residents of Battle and surrounds are and I thank them for that.

“Please continue to report suspicious behaviour.

“Any piece of information, no matter how small, could be linked to an incident we are investigating, so do not hesitate contacting 101.”