When reporting on police matters, one of the most repeated offences in Lincoln is burglary. In most instances of house and car burglaries, usual valuables were stolen, such as laptops, purses and wallets and cash. In a few cases, cars were even stolen after breaking in and car keys were found.
However there have been a few incidences which left us either baffled, amused, or both. Here are the strangest things that have been stolen in Lincoln this year.
On two occasions, hedge cutters have been stolen. On one occasion, the cutter was taken along with other items in a car, and one was recovered in a police house raid. Hedge cutters are not the cheapest items going around, with some worth over £250, but the second-hand value wouldn’t justify the thefts.
Police are constantly warning people to take their valuables out of cars when they are not using them, but maybe it should apply to all goods. In one case, not content with the cash and bank cards, someone stole a massage table and nail kit from a car too.
Diazepam is a drug administered to those with anxiety, insomnia, or seizures. So someone must have had one of these three symptoms in order to want to steal the drug from a chemist. What’s most interesting about this case is the disguise used: surgical gloves, a tea cosy-style hat, a red and black wig and a weave basket to put the goods in. The man was caught in the end.
It can’t really get any stranger than this. Two men were caught on CCTV stealing a hydraulic crane worth over £1,000. Initial enquiries have failed to recover the crane, so this case came to light after a police appeal.
Well, maybe it can get stranger after all. Burglars rammed the gates of a compound with their (possible) lorry in order to get a cement mixer. Not the small pushable ones from building sites, but an industrial-sized mixer.
During a break-in of the Lincoln Central Market this spring, a thief thought helping himself to the fresh fish counter would be a good idea. This must have been a slippery and smelly getaway.
Although copper makes big money in the scrap metal industry (up to £5,000 per tonne), stealing it has proven pretty disruptive for the city. Through (attempted) thefts of copper wiring, trains and rail crossings came to a standstill, causing high congestion in the city centre. Though a few of the suspects have been caught, rewards of £1,000 are still on offer to anyone that can lead to a suspect.
A city busker made a plea on YouTube asking for his special hat back, which had sentimental value. The incident happened when the man was busking at the Stonebow. While performing, a man walked by and brushed the hat straight off his head. The incident was caught on film and the man was caught, but ironically, the stolen hat was never recovered.
This is only weird in the sense that you would expect this in a Hollywood film rather than in Lincoln. Two men dressed as police forensics, donning white hooded boiler suits with dust masks covering their faces, walked into a jewellers earlier this year and left with around £80,000 worth of jewellery. The men were not found to date.
Although you can never be sure when a burglar is going to target your house, there are ways of narrowing the chances.
Police urge people to lock their windows and doors securely, even inside when a room is not being occupied and taking goods out of cars.
For more detailed tips on keeping your property safe, a prolific jailed burglar shares his insights on houses he would not enter.