ADVICE on combatting crime has been issued to residents in Crewkerne and South Petherton after 23 break ins were reported in one night.

Thirteen garages were broken into in Southmead Crescent, three garages and at least one vehicle were reported to have been broken into at properties backing on to West Street Car Park and a further six garages were broken into in Prigg Lane.

A police spokesman said: "We’re asking residents in the Crewkerne and South Petherton area to be vigilant following a series of break-ins overnight between February 5 and 6."

PCSO Michelle Haimes of the local policing team said: “Following these incidents we’re asking residents and members of the community to remain vigilant.

“Please check that windows, doors or locks on garages and sheds are secure, and where possible do not leave any valuables in vehicles left unattended.”

Police advised residents to take any of the following steps to ensure they don’t fall victim to this crime:

  • Mark your power tools or other items with your post code and house number or the first two letters of your house name and register the details on the Immobilise website
  • Put away all tools and equipment and lock up using good quality or specialist locks.
  • Double garage doors with a rim latch should be supplemented with a mortice deadlock.
  • Most standard ‘up and over’ garage doors are easily overcome by a burglar.
  • You can prevent this by drilling a hole through the channel above the wheels and fitting a padlock. Alternatively, fit a hasp and staple each side of the door with a padlock or fit a specialist lock.
  • If the garage is attached to the main building ensure that connecting doors are secure.
  • Check that your household insurance covers theft from your garden and outbuildings.

You can read full safety advice on securing your garden and outbuildings on the police website, here.

If you see anyone acting suspiciously around an outbuilding or vehicle in these areas call 101 or if you witness a crime in progress call 999.