A gang of Lithuanian burglars who mainly targeted homes in the Devon area, and could have carried out up to 39 raids, have been caught out by a range of technology including their sat-nav device. A sat-nav they used to navigate their way around the area, mobile phone records and automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) technology, combined with forensic evidence from the scenes, provided compelling evidence that led to their arrest by police. We recently posted about the Hatton Gardens gang who were dubbed ‘analogue criminals in a digital age’ because of the way they were caught out by ANPR and tracked thereafter via their mobile phones.
They carried out 23 break ins in Devon and another 16 elsewhere. Every break in involved lock snapping – a common method of breaking in that involves breaking the cylinder to manipulate the locks to open. West Yorkshire Police believes that lock snapping accounts for at least 25% of break ins.
They allegedly sought out empty properties that had UPVC front or patio doors that were fitted with the type of cylinder lock that is easily snapped.
Lock snapping still not taken seriously
In some ways this is a positive story as it highlights the role that technology is playing in bringing these criminal gangs to justice. However, it also highlights the issue that people are still not taking lock snapping seriously enough.
Lock snapping requires no specialist tools and is fairly easy to do if you know how. The cylinder operates the whole of a lock so even if it is a multi-point lock, if the cylinder is compromised then so is the whole lock.
It’s actually quite a simple problem to overcome as anti-snap cylinder locks are readily available. Sold Secure Diamond locks are recommended as these do not allow for the cylinder to be snapped. We sell these locks in our security shop and our locksmith can also come out and swap them over.
Even when burglars are caught in this way, the chances or recovering stolen property are slim (statistically the police fail to return a single item of property in 87% of cases). Therefore, the best way to keep hold of your stuff is to prevent the break in in the first place. Seems obvious but it’s surprising how many are complacent about their home security until something happens.
Luckily for the residents of Devon, these thieves are off the street for a while but there will be others and they will be in all areas of the UK as long as people fail to take appropriate measures to secure their home. If you are not sure whether your own lock has an anti-snap cylinder or just want some general security advice then call into our security shop in Wakefield or call us on 0345 833 5543.