EIGHT burglars including a man who brutally stole a woman’s handbag have been arrested as part of a hard-hitting police operation.
The 25-year-old male was arrested following an appeal in The Gazette yesterday which saw him drag the 60-year-old across the ground on Raikes Parade before fleeing.
The arrests come as one officer pleaded with residents to keep the doors and windows of their homes secure as one in three burglaries last year were caused by careless mistakes.
More than a third of all the burglaries – 301 out of 885 – were caused by people leaving their items unattended.
Sgt James Weatherby said: “In order to reassure the public, it’s our intention to carry out a number of operations throughout Blackpool and the Fylde.
“The main point to get across is that crime levels in Blackpool are very low and the reason we are conducting the operation is so it stays that way.
“Locking up when you leave the house or go to bed is absolutely essential, as is removing valuable items from display so they do not act as temptation to passing criminals.”
Officers began their operation in Blackpool’s Bloomfield ward and plan to come down hard on offenders throughout the resort over the next 12 months by targeting known offenders.
The South Shore ward was chosen for its high rate of burglaries involving people leaving their items unattended.
In 2010, there were 815 burglaries throughout Western Division, a figure which increased by 70 last year to 885.
Sgt Bob Conolly-Perch, added: “We are community focused and responding to the fear of crime.
“Burglary is a very invasive crime and if we don’t carry out this operation we don’t stay on the front foot.”
Those arrested during the first day included a 27-year-old man from Thornton and a 20-year-old man from Lytham who were arrested on suspicion of theft, assault and criminal damage.
A 35-year-old man from Blackpool was also arrested on suspicion of theft, while a 30-year-old man from the town was arrested on suspicion of going equipped for theft.
Sgt Conolly-Perch added: “Burglary can cause a lot of problems and panic for victims and that’s why we are doing this operation on both the day and night shift.
“We want to provide reassurances to residents.”