A former prolific offender who stole from homes and vehicles across South Devon has joined forces with Devon and Cornwall Police to help prevent people from being a victim this Christmas.
The 36-year-old racked up 324 offences for burglary and vehicle crime but has now turned his life around and is helping police get the message across that ‘Not everyone is welcome this Christmas’.
The reformed character, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “It was easy for me to steal when people left their doors or windows open. Criminals look for anything clearly visible, such as money, car keys, wallets, purses, laptops and mp3 players.When there is a door or window left open, a criminal will look to see what is inside that can benefit them. I always looked for the little things that could easily be put into a plastic bag so no one would notice when I was walking away.”
He now supports the police Christmas theft campaign and hopes that his advice, from the horse’s mouth, will encourage homeowners to think more about securing their homes, vehicles and possessions in order to help prevent them from becoming a target.
He also hopes that young people who are thinking of turning to crime will hear his story and nip their criminality in the bud.
Devon & Cornwall Police advise that: “The biggest problem we are facing is that we are still discovering that 40% of all burglaries are down to insecurities. The frustrating thing about this is that these crimes, which can have a particularly devastating effect on people, could be prevented so easily by homeowners closing and locking doors and windows. Christmas is a time of year when everyone knows that homes have presents stored in them and so all gifts and expensive items should be hidden from external view at all times. To have all your presents stolen just before Christmas or just after is traumatic, so please help prevent yourself from becoming a victim and spend a few minutes checking that your home is secure, even if you are in the back garden. It can save a lot of heartache.”