A CROOK who swiped a cricket club cashbox and a burglar who targeted local homes are both behind bars following a police crackdown.
Lancashire Police launched Operation Julius after a rise in burglaries across the county – and now three Blackpool criminals have found themselves locked up.
After appearing in court last week Ian Dudman, of no fixed abode, was jailed for 18 months for a botched burglary at Lytham Cricket Club.
The 35-year-old was caught red-handed inside the Church Road premises with the club’s cash box.
Mereside resident Alfred Walsh, 42, of Troutbeck Crescent, is also behind bars for 39 weeks for burglaries in two local homes, while a 15-year-old from Blackpool was jailed for 12 months for unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle.
And now Blackpool police are urging residents to ensure they don’t become the next victims.
Detective Sergeant Nick Connaughton, on Blackpool’s serious acquisitive crime team, said: “The sentences given to these three show that there are serious consequences to committing crime.
“While it is always satisfying to see a criminal convicted and put behind bars, we would prefer it if residents did not fall victim to these people in the first place.
Burglary is a particularly emotive crime – apart from the financial inconvenience caused by the loss of belongings, people also feel that their private space has been violated.
“Fortunately, there are steps that people can take to avoid being targeted by opportunistic thieves and we would encourage them to do this.”
To help keep householders safe, Lancashire Police have issued a series of tips to deter criminals.
Residents are being urged to keep their windows closed – or open on a latch – and front and back doors closed, keep side gates locked and use strong locks on sheds, garages and other outbuildings.
The police are also urging residents to consider outdoor security lighting and keep an eye on neighbouring properties.
Anyone who sees anything suspicious can contact police on 101.