More than 700 raids in a year

Burglar trying to break into a house
Burglar trying to break into a house
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BLACKPOOL residents have been plagued with more than 700 burglaries in the past year.

Figures from the Government’s crime website – www.police.uk – show 780 burglary offences were reported to police between December 2010 and November 2011.

But police say this type of crime saw a reduction of 10.2 per cent across the county last year and work is continually being carried out to bring the number of offences down further.

But Supt Bill McMahon, operations manager for the Blackpool area, said: “As a force we take this issue very seriously and we understand a person’s home contains things which are most important and precious to them like personal possessions and of course their family.

“We will continue to work closely with the community in not only reducing the number of burglaries on the Fylde coast, but bringing those people who commit these crimes to justice.

“We find a large number of these crimes are committed because people do not lock their doors and windows when they are in bed or even when they have popped out. Many of these burglaries can be prevented by people carrying out basic crime prevention methods.

“Should anyone have information about people who commit burglaries then we would urge them to contact us.”

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The figures relate to areas in Blackpool from Grasmere Road to Talbot Road and North to Warbreck Hill Road.

There were 36 burglaries in November 2011 and 46 in December 2010. The worst hit months for burglaries in the resort were July with 112, August with 85 offences, and June with 78 burglaries.

Serial burglar Michael Gavin appeared in court for the 12th time on a charge of burglary last week.

In his latest break-in, the 39-year-old asked a pensioner on Laycock Gate in Layton if she wanted her front garden to be weeded for £20.

While working he asked to use her toilet and then requested a glass of water. Second later he fled with the woman’s handbag containing cash and a Post Office card.

Gavin was jailed for four years and nine months.

Two burglars were jailed recently after they were caught red-handed causing hundreds of pounds of damage to a Blackpool home.

The pair smashed a window to get into the house in Wynwood Avenue, North Shore, in July last year and caused damage to the bathroom ceiling, where a foot went through.

Peter Bandy, 36, of Regent Road, Blackpool, had pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal and was sentenced to 22 months behind bars at Preston Crown Court. He had been convicted in his absence of another charge of burglary and one of handling stolen goods.

Donald Braebaum, 53, of no fixed address also admitted the crime and was jailed for 18 months.

Last year prolific burglar Liam Clegg was sentenced to 34 months in prison after admitting carrying out more than 140 burglaries, thefts and criminal damage.

Clegg, 21, was taught how to steal by his own father, who used to take the youngster on burglaries as he could fit through small windows.

Roads in central Blackpool where he burgled homes and raided cars include Grasmere Road, Dunelt Road, Westmorland Avenue, Park Road, St Ives Avenue, Whitegate Drive and Knox Grove.