Spate of night-time raids on post offices

Postmistress Trevina Smith and PC Dan Beglan at Steeple Claydon Post Office.'111228M-C177
Postmistress Trevina Smith and PC Dan Beglan at Steeple Claydon Post Office.'111228M-C177

POLICE have issued a warning to staff at rural post offices, after a series of organised break-ins in Aylesbury Vale.

Steeple Claydon Post Office was targeted on Thursday, December 15, when burglars attempted to get in by removing a large display window.

They fled empty handed after, a movement sensor set off the burglar alarm.

Postmistress Trevina Smith and husband Mike, who live nearby, were at the scene within six minutes.

Mrs Smith said: “The alarm went off at 4.06am and we were there at 4.11am, but they’d scarpered. It was a bit of a shock to drive in and find the 5ft by 6ft window leaning against next door’s fence. There must have been a few of them – it’s not easy to do. There are houses all around and not one person heard.”

The wind had blown some giant display crackers on to the floor, which triggered the burglar alarm.

Mrs Smith added: “The thing that annoyed me was it was near Christmas. This is a little village post office that a lot of pensioners rely on.”

On December 1, burglars at Ivinghoe Post Office also removed window glass to gain access. But they escaped with just £15 in cash after the alarm went off.

At Halton Post Office, thieves smashed their way through the ceiling in a raid on December 14.

They forced open the cigarette cabinet with a crowbar to steal a large quantity of cigarettes, and also took a till containing cash.

Insp Omar Abu-Rish said: “We are encouraging post offices and also newsagents and village stores in the Vale to review the security measures they have in place. Unfortunately, there have been a few attempted burglaries recently at rural post offices in particular.

“Where alarm systems have been installed, they have been effective in stopping the offenders from being able to complete their offence.”

Police will be happy to visit any store that wants crime prevention advice. Call 101 to arrange a visit.