Tackling Kettering’s car crime problem

Police say they are doing “everything they can” to tackle Kettering’s car crime problem.

‘Opportunistic’ thieves targeted dozens of cars in the town last month, stealing property and causing damage all over the borough.

Sometimes they left empty-handed - but they always had an effect on the victim.

Inspector Scott Little from Northamptonshire Police, of the Kettering and Corby Neighbourhood Team, said: “Some of the victims have taken it personally.

“You should be able to live in a society where people can leave things without them being damaged or stolen.

“The effects can be huge to the point where people sit up all night fretting they’ve been targeted again.”

Blue pin points show where car crimes were recorded in March.

Blue pin points show where car crimes were recorded in March.

Below we have published details of 39 car crimes across Kettering and Barton Seagrave in March. They are just the ones we know about with many more going unreported and a number of further incidents in Burton Latimer, Broughton and across the whole county. Insp Little said police had arrested a man over incidents in Broughton.

He said officers investigating the car crimes had identified two types of incidents and that CCTV suggested it could be a couple of people committing the crimes.

He said: “One we had a spate of was people were just walking along smashing windows to gain entry.

“The other we have seen a lot of is cars left insecure and these people are just trying door handles.

Inspector Scott Little.

Inspector Scott Little.

“Unfortunately they are coming up more than we would like to see lately.”

He urged people make sure their doors are locked and valuables are left out of sight.

He added: “If you go and try 300 door handles and 10 or 15 are unlocked then there’s an opportunity for them to steal quite easily.”

One person who has been affected by vehicle crime is Sophie Scotchbrook. Her car and her partner’s van were broken into in Carsington Close between 11.30pm on March 3 and 6.45am on March 4.

This is how thieves left Sophie Scotchbrook's car after ransacking it. NNL-190304-103424005

This is how thieves left Sophie Scotchbrook's car after ransacking it. NNL-190304-103424005

Thieves stole perfume and an iPad after ransacking the vehicles, leaving items strewn across the seats.

She said it had left her feeling violated and insecure.

She said: “The fact some person had broken into my car and touched all my baby’s stuff and rummaged through their bags made me feel sick.

“I still don’t feel safe now, especially when I work late at night and pull up to my drive.”

She added that they have since installed a security camera because of the incident.

Another affected is Cat Minney, whose vehicle was targeted in Roundhill Road earlier this year.

After forcing entry to her car thieves stole a bank card and loose change. Cat said four of her neighbours were also victims.

She said: “I feel a little bit let down by society.

“It left me vulnerable. It was right outside my house.

“Every night afterwards I felt wary that it might happen again.”

Police have been criticised on social media for not taking vehicle crime seriously, with some saying officers are too stretched and too busy.

Insp Little disagreed and say they have been carrying out patrols overnight, speaking to residents and undertaking reassurance visits.

He said: “We take all of these crimes seriously and will do everything we can to catch those responsible.”

Insp Little had one final message for the perpetrators - that they will be made an example of.

He said: “If we catch you we won’t hesitate to publish your details. Word very quickly gets around.”

Here are details of every vehicle crime reported and published in neighbourhood alerts by police - but there will be many more.

Between 8pm on February 28 and 9.40am on March 2. Dryden Street. Secure vehicle entered, search made and stolen.

Between 10pm on February 28 and 4.44am on March 1. Duke Street. Vehicle entered and bag stolen from boot.

Between 1.45am and 1.54am on March 1. Regent Street. Entry gained via insecure door and £2 coin stolen.

Between 3pm on March 3 and 8.25am on March 4. Crescent West. Passenger door lock damaged to gain entry and MP3 player stolen.

Between 11.30pm March 3 and 6.45am on March 4. Carsington Close. Entry gained to van with unknown instrument and property stolen from within.

Between 12.15pm and 12.21pm on March 4. Carina Road. Tools stolen from locked van.

Between 5.30pm on March 4 and 8am on March 5. Regent Street. Access gained to vehicle by unknown means and untidy search made.

Between 3.30pm on March 5 and 6.15am on March 6. Kylesku Crescent. Entry gained to secure vehicle.

Between 6.30pm on March 6 and 5.45am on March 7. Cotswold Avenue. Entry gained to vehicle and items taken.

Between 7.30pm on March 6 and 8.20am on March 7. Carriage Drive. Entry gained to vehicle and items taken.

Between 8pm and 9.30pm on March 6. Ebenezer Place. Vehicle left locked for 90 minutes and on return owner finds it broken into and property removed.

Between 11.59pm on March 6 and 7am on March 7. Darley Close. Entry gained to vehicle and laptop stolen from within.

Between 12.15pm and 12.30pm on March 7. St Stephen’s Road. Entry gained to vehicle and items taken.

Between 6pm on March 8 and 2.30pm on March 9. Ivy Road. Secure vehicle entered and items stolen.

Between midnight and 5.30pm on March 10. Argyll Street. Company vehicle parked and locked up. The following day neighbour alerted the owner and returned some items found in the street. The vehicle had been broken into and items stolen from within.

Between 5pm on March 11 and 8.15am on March 12. Britannia Road. Entry gained to vehicle and items taken.

Between 10pm on March 11 and 8.20am on March 12. Mill Dale Road. Offenders used drill to gain entry to secure vehicle and items taken.

Between 11pm on March 11 and 8am on March 12. Salisbury Street. Entry gained to secure vehicle and items taken.

Between 3.20am and 3.25am on March 12. Britannia Road. Entry gained to a number of motor vehicles and items taken.

Between 6pm on March 12 and 9am on March 13. King Street. Side window of vehicle smashed and items stolen from within.

Some time after 7pm on March 12. Wellington Street. Entry gained to a vehicle and items stolen from within.

Between 8pm on March 12 and 6am on March 13. King Street. Passenger window smash but nothing taken after untidy search.

Between 8pm on March 12 and 8.23am on March 13. King Street. Window of car smashed but nothing taken.

Between 7.30am and 7.48am on March 15. Reservoir Road. Side window of car smashed and items stolen.

Between 11.50pm on March 15 and 12.15am on March 16. Cornwall Road. Offender caught on CCTV crouched under vehicle to remove part of it. They made off in another vehicle.

Between midnight and 11am on March 16. Bath Road. Car broken into and contents of glove compartment spread across seats but nothing stolen.

Between 5.55am and 6.55am on March 16. Lower Street. Window of car smashed and search made but nothing taken.

Between 8pm on March 16 and 1.45pm on March 17. Britannia Road. Entry gained to vehicle. Binoculars stolen from back seat and power tools stolen from boot.

Between 8pm on March 22 and 1pm on March 23. Hardwick Avenue. Vehicle entered and damage caused with laptop stolen.

Between 9pm on March 23 and 8am on March 24. Peveril Street. Offenders enter insecure vehicle and carried out a tidy search but stole nothing.

Between 10pm on March 23 and 6am on March 24. Lomond Drive. Access gained to possibly insecure vehicle, messy search of glovebox made and items removed from boot.

Between 4.46am and 5am on March 24. Grimsthorpe Avenue. Man caught on CCTV trying car door handles but no entry gained.

Between 9pm on March 24 and 7am on March 25. Southwell Lane. Vehicle entered via insecure door and items stolen.

Between 9pm on March 24 and 8am on March 25. Poplars Farm Road. Entry to vehicle made and change stolen after untidy search.

Between 8am and 4.30pm on March 25. Northfield Avenue. Two men jacked up vehicle to start removing the catalytic converter. They were disturbed and made off in a black Skoda.

Between midnight and 7.30am on March 26. Wilton Road. Window of car smashed and bag stolen from footwell.

Between 10.30pm on March 26 and 10.30am on March 27. Nelson Street. Locked and secured motorcycle stolen from road outside victim’s house.

Between March 27 and 6am on March 28. Garfield Street. Number plates stolen from vehicle.

Between 4pm on March 28 and 9am on March 29. Tresham Street. Side window of vehicle smashed and property stolen.