HOMEOWNERS are stepping up security after a spate of burglaries in Rougham last week.
Last Wednesday (April 25), three garages in Kingshall Street were burgled between 6pm and 10pm, while their owners were at home with their families.
One victim, who did not want to be named, believed the thieves transported his power tools, including a jigsaw, two sanders, an arc welder, plasma cutter, garden strimmer, lawnmower, drill and car polisher, using his own wheelbarrow, which he found dumped in his garden.
Valued at around £1,500, the missing items included two recent birthday presents and something of sentimental value.
“We were surprised to be burgled during the evening while we were active in the house,” he said. “The fact that they had the cheek to do it feels a bit threatening.”
A neighbour, Beth Hitchcock, had a Honda whacker stolen from her garage, after thieves damaged a padlock to get inside.
She, too, suspects her wheelbarrow was used to help carry out the crime.
She said: “What made me feel dreadful is I was in the house on my own with my two children.
“I was trembling when I found out. I couldn’t sleep at all that night because I kept worrying about them coming back, it was horrible.
“I feel violated.”
Another resident, Richard Moore, noticed his garage had been broken into and security light disabled when he let his dog out on Thursday morning.
He said: “Really I lost very little, just a socket set, but it wrecked my door and I won’t be able to get one that matches, so I will have to get a pair of doors, which is going to end up costing quite a lot of money – it can have quite a knock on effect.”
The villagers now plan to invest in stronger garage doors and padlocks, shed alarms and outside lights.
“We’re all going to be vigilant now, so they had better watch out,” warned Mrs Hitchcock.
A Honda Izy petrol lawnmower was also stolen from a brick shed in Bradfield St George, between April 12-26.
Police are treating all the burglaries as linked.
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.