Be mindful of home security after series of burglaries in Trowbridge

The Trowbridge area has seen four burglaries as a result of homes being left insecure since the beginning of the year.

In each case, car keys have been stolen from inside the addresses and the vehicles subsequently stolen from the driveways.

On 8 January, a house in Hargreaves Road was broken in to via an insecure back door and a Fiat 500 was stolen from outside. It was later recovered by police in a car park off Lambrok Road.

On 22 January, offenders gained access to a house in Blease Close via an unlocked back door and stole two sets of car keys, a wallet containing cash and debit cards. A Volvo C30 was stolen from outside and later recovered by police

On 23 February, suspects gained entry to a home in Cavell Court, again through an insecure back door, and stole a set of keys. They then stole a Vauxhall Insignia from outside, which was later located by officers in West Ashton Road. A 16-year-old male who was located nearby was arrested on suspicion of burglary and released on bail pending further enquiries.

On 3 March, a house in Frome Road was broken into via an insecure door and a wallet and keys were stolen. A BMW 320 was also stolen and later located in Orchard Road.

Sergeant Gill Hughes, of the Trowbridge, Melksham and Warminster community policing team, said: “To help deter and, at times, stop burglaries the advice could not be more simple.  Please ensure doors and windows are locked every time you leave the house, even when just in the garden, and make sure you have approved locks or bolts to all doors and windows.

“Never leave a spare key in a hiding place such as a plant pot or letter box – thieves know all the hiding places. Make sure all keys, purses and wallets are kept out of sight and away from the letterbox.

“This advice may seem obvious, but many people are still leaving doors and windows open – this just makes a burglar’s route into your home so simple. Don’t give them an easy ride.

“Although we believe these incidents may be linked, we are keeping an open mind and believe there may be more than one offender.

“Fortunately, each of the vehicles stolen during these incidents has later been located by officers carrying out enquiries. Despite this, incidents of this nature can be upsetting and distressing for the victims.

“We continue with our enquiries and will be increasing patrols in these areas. Officers will also be at the market in Trowbridge this Wednesday to give out crime prevention advice to shoppers.

"I'd like to appeal to anyone who may have information on any of these incidents to get in touch via 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. We will follow up all lines of enquiry.”

Open letter from the Chief Constable Mike Veale

This month Chief Constable Mike Veale has written an open letter to the public regarding the recent publication of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary's report around how effective a force Wiltshire Police is.

Chief Constable's Letter

Stolen Vehicles

Police are appealing for witnesses after two vehicles were stolen from a driveway in Bradford-on-Avon overnight on 5/6 February 2017.

A house in St Aldhelm Road was broken into between 11pm on 5 February and 8.10am on 6 February and subsequently, the two vehicles were stolen from the driveway.

The vehicles stolen were a black Ford Fiesta and a silver Ford Focus.

The Ford Fiesta was later located abandoned in Church Lane, North Bradley, Trowbridge, while the Ford Focus was located on fire in fields near to Ladydown, Trowbridge, in the early hours of the morning.  The vehicle was completely burnt out.

Community Coordinator for Trowbridge, Bradford and Melksham rural, Alex Trombetta, said: "We would like to hear from any residents who may have seen or heard any suspicious activity in the St Aldhelm Road area overnight, and into the early hours of yesterday morning, as well as anyone who saw any suspicious individuals in the area of Ladydown, Trowbridge, between approximately 1.30am and 2.30am yesterday morning.

"We are carrying out a thorough investigation into this incident including house-to-house enquiries.
"The victims were understandably shocked and shaken to wake up and find both their vehicles had been stolen from the driveway.

"We would like to reiterate the importance of not leaving car keys out on display inside your homes - ensure they are locked away and out of sight of any opportunists. Also, ensure all doors and windows to your home are secure when you go to bed at night, or when leaving your property empty."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

Fake Bank Letters

Lloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters. 

The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.  
The letter tells recipients that there have been some “unusual transactions” on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine. 
When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth.Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.
The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address. On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre. The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake. 
The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks. 

If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card. 
To report a fraud and cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040 or visit

Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Christmas Drink/Drug Driving Campaign Launched

Wiltshire Police has launched its annual Christmas Drink and Drug Driving campaign.

All Wiltshire Police officers and members of Tri Force Roads Policing Unit will be conducting high profile roadside checks at all times of the day and night, to catch those who pose a huge risk to themselves and the lives of other road users.

Officers will also be screening for drugs at the roadside as it has been found that drivers who have consumed both drugs and alcohol are 23 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than sober drivers.

Read more: Christmas Drink/Drug Driving Campaign Launched

Tips To Help You Stay Safe When Shopping Online

This weekend, retailers around the globe will be offering deals and discounts as part of ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’. These are some of the busiest days of the year for online shopping and you can snap up some real bargains. However, they also offer opportunities for criminals to carry out fraud on unsuspecting shoppers so preparing yourself with some basic online safety tips is important.

To help keep people safe when they’re buying goods online; Action Fraud has put together some hints and tips which we have attached for you with this message.

For more information and advice on staying safe online there are some great resources and links available via the Wiltshire Police website:

Action Online Fraud Poster

Check your home security now the clocks have gone back

Now the clocks have gone back, the nights are getting darker much earlier therefore we wanted to remind residents to check their home security and strengthen the weak spots as soon as possible. 
A lot of burglaries can be prevented – most are committed by opportunist thieves. Burglars like easy opportunities so don’t give them an easy route in to your home.
- If you are out for the evening, leave lights on inside your house to give the impression somebody is home
- Consider lighting on timers on the outside of your property, or a motion activated light
- Ensure hedges and trees are cut back to avoid giving opportunists places to hide. Having an open aspect at the front of your property will enable neighbours or pedestrians to see anybody approaching your home.
- If you are going away, ask a trusted neighbour or friend to look after your home - collecting mail, closing and opening curtains etc.
- Be a nosy neighbour! If you see or hear any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, call 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress. Try and also take down any suspicious vehicle registration details if possible.

Message sent by
Katie Bond (Police, Media Officer, Wiltshire)

PCC public opinion phone survey starts today

This is a message sent via Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. This information has been sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police
(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)
Message sent by
Simone Matthews (Police, Communications Officer, Wiltshire)

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson is seeking the views of the public, as researchers gather opinions from the community during a large-scale phone survey from today (Monday24 October 2016).

Around 2,000 householders across the Wiltshire Police area will be getting a call via their landline in the coming weeks. The calls will be completed by 19 December.

Read more: PCC public opinion phone survey starts today

Advice In Case You Receive A Message From A Fraudster

This is a message sent via Wiltshire and Swindon Community Messaging. This information has been sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police
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Message sent by
Daisy McAninch (Police, Communications Officer , Devizes HQ)

Fraudsters have been sending distressing messages to parents in the hope that they will reply and send mobile phone top-up voucher codes.

Victims initially receive a text message from a loved-one saying they are in hospital and that the only way they can make contact is via text message.

After responding to the message, fraudsters ask victims to purchase a mobile phone top-up code and text it back to them. Once the fraudsters have the code, they can get the cash credited to their own mobile phone account.

These messages can evolve into more elaborate scenarios and are designed to play on your emotions and get you to react quickly without thinking. 

Remember that if a family member, loved-one or friend was hospitalised, they wouldn’t be forced to use a mobile phone that required credit to activate it as staff would easily be able to contact you by other means. 

If you receive one of these messages:

  • Stop and think before taking immediate action.
  • Do you recognise the number? One easy way to check if the text you receive is a scam is to contact who the text is purportedly from, directly on their normal number that you recognise or have stored. Chances are they will answer their phone or text you back.
  • Do not send any voucher codes, top-ups or money.
  • Do not provide any personal details or information.
  • Delete it.
  • Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool       

Please use the buttons below or click these links to Reply to, Rate or Forward this message. Do not reply or forward using your standard email functions.

Microsoft Scam

Message sent by
Lorraine Rice (Police, Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), Trowbridge and Warminster Community Policing Team)

  Victims are cold called, usually by phone and told that there is a problem with their computer and for a nominal fee the suspect can fix it. The suspects often claim to be working with Microsoft who have identified that the computer has been infected with a virus and offer an update or fix. They will give what seem to be viable employee details and telephone numbers when challenged.

The victims are talked through the logon steps in order for the fraudster to gain remote access to the computer. The victims will then often witness the mouse moving and changes being made to the display. They then pay a fee (anything between £100 and £300 has been reported to Action Fraud) and are told the problem has been resolved. They now have your Bank details
The victims are then told that they are entitled to compensation but in order for this to be processed they need to send a Moneygram transfer, the address given was in Thailand!

We had two potential victims of this type of Fraud only yesterday in Westbury and both were asked to send £2,700.00 but due to the quick thinking of Linda at the Post Office Counter in the
Co-Op she recognised it as a scam and refused to issue the moneygrams.

How to protect yourself

  • Do not allow remote access to your computer.
  • Hang up the phone when you identify that the call is uninvited.
  • Never divulge passwords or pin numbers.
  • Microsoft or someone on their behalf will never call you.
  • Never give your Bank details over the phone to a cold caller.