Midhurst and Petworth police warn residents after spate of thefts

Police targeting rural crime in the Midhurst and surrounding areas PICTURE BY KATE SHEMILT C131019-1

Police targeting rural crime in the Midhurst and surrounding areas PICTURE BY KATE SHEMILT C131019-1

  • Thousands of pounds worth of tools and machinery stolen across the area
  • Man, 50, from Petworth arrested after overnight burglary
  • Appeal for witnesses who may have seen getaway car
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POLICE are moving to tackle rural crime following a spate of thefts from across the area.

In recent weeks there has been a rise in burglaries with opportunistic thieves stealing thousands of pounds worth of garden tools and machinery from garages, sheds, outbuildings and stables.

At a farm in Kirdford, thieves also made off with an Iseki tractor.

Sergeant Jonathan Chapman is urging people to be vigilant: “We are currently experiencing a high number of overnight burglaries in the areas of Milland, Rake, Easebourne, Rogate, Trotton, Heyshott, Stedham, Haslemere and surrounding areas.

“Thieves are targeting outbuildings stealing garden machinery, horse tack and larger items such as generators and quad bikes.

“Police have drafted in additional resources to deal with this issue and have night time operations planned with Surrey and Hampshire.

“I urge all residents to be vigilant to noise and disturbance and to ensure valuable items are locked away securely and that all security lighting or CCTV is working.

“If you see anything or anyone suspicious or if it doesn’t look right, please dial 101 with as much information as possible without putting yourself in danger.

“If a crime is in progress please dial 999.”

Police are also seeking witnesses after two outbuildings were broken into in the Pulborough and Petworth area.

Burglars stole a chainsaw and a pole saw from a shed in Fittleworth and stole a strimmer from a garage in Lurgashall between May 2 and 3, said police.

A spokesman said a green Peugeot 306 car was thought to have been used in the overnight burglaries.

Police said they are hunting for a male passenger who was in the car.

Officers arrested a man, aged 50, from Petworth, on suspicion of burglary.

He has been released on police bail until June 19.

Anyone with information is asked to email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or phone 101, quoting serial 176 of 3/5.