LOCK up your laptops!
That’s the call from police in Cheshire’s Western Area who have seen an increase in thefts in the past few weeks.
Thefts have occurred across the area with the culprits targeting homes and cars to gain access to the computers.
Detective Chief Inspector Brian Roberts, crime manager for Western Area, said: “Recently there has been a real upsurge in the number of laptops stolen.
“For criminals, laptops make good business sense as they are portable and of high value and are relatively easy to sell on – there is solid potential demand for them.
“The Proactive Policing Unit is looking into these crimes and is currently reviewing forensic and other evidence in relation to the thefts.
“But as ever it is always better to prevent a crime than to detect it and I want all laptop owners to consider how safe their computer is.”
In some cases this has not been done and some victims have even left doors or windows open allowing easy access for thieves.
By following a few simple steps and taking a few extra precautions owners can prevent their computers from ending up on someone else’s lap.
David Owens, Crime Reduction Advisor, said: “The most simple, but most effective, security measure is to deny criminals access to your property.
“Most thieves are opportunistic and by shutting and locking doors you can deter all but the most persistent criminal.
“All laptops should be marked to identify them as belonging to you. This should be done using ultraviolet pens to write your postcode, but should also be done with something which is permanently visible.
“Laptops will generally be stolen to sell on and if you clearly mark your computer it will be virtually impossible for a criminal to pass off any sale as genuine.”
He added: “There are also a number of products available which can anchor your laptop in place at home.
“One of these is the security able. The vast majority of laptops have some form of ring or attachment which allows a fixing tie to be passed through it or sometimes bolted to it.
“This tie can then be securely attached to a wall or other solid object using a lock and key making the laptop difficult to be removed by anyone other than the owner.”
Officers are also asking all residents to be vigilant and to look out for one another.
Chief Insp Roberts added: “We are determined to catch those responsible for the thefts and to take steps to prevent further incidents, but we need the assistance of everyone in the area.
“If you see any suspicious activity report it immediately to the police. It may be that there is nothing untoward, but likewise, you may be able to play a major part in bringing a criminal to justice.
“Similarly, if you are offered a laptop in suspicious circumstances or doubt it is a genuine sale contact us immediately.”
If you see anything suspicious ring Cheshire Police on 0845 458 0000 or, alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.