Residents in one of Edinburgh’s plushest neighbourhoods are being warned to be on their guard for a burglar so good that most victims don’t even know their homes have been raided.
Police have informed community councils that four houses in The Grange area have been targeted, but think more could come to light as people check on the safety of their valuables.
The Search and Recovery Team at Gayfield Square Police Station said they have recovered a large amount of jewellery that they suspect to be stolen, which has prompted recent advice to be more cautious.
The suspect is thought to have entered the houses and stolen jewellery without the knowledge of the owners, often referred to as a slip-in. It isn’t known whether the owners were present during any of the burglaries.
The East Grange Neighbourhood watch issued a warning message saying that a local family was contacted by police regarding a recovered a ring that they believed belonged to the family. The ring was among the larger selection of stolen goods recovered recently from a pawnbroker.
The family have been shielding in their home to protect themselves from the risk coronavirus poses and have not been out of the house much, other than for walks.
At night and when they are out of the house, they set an alarm to prevent instances such as this occurring in their home. They were surprised when the police got in touch and in fact did have their ring.
They also had a look at the other items which had been recovered by police and discovered that two of their watches had also been stolen. These were all items that were not worn but kept in the house.
The police have said that they are not sure how or when the crimes took place but that they think it was most likely opportunistic.
They have said that there is a plain clothed officer pursuing enquiries in the Grange area in relation to the recovered property but have reminded locals to always check the identity of an unknown caller at their home, regardless of whether the claim to be a police officer.
Local SNP Councillor Alison Dickie said: “The message is, from my understanding from chatting to the police, for locals to check and if there is anything missing from your house, report it. It’s an ongoing message about security and safety, don’t leave your external door open because people will just take those opportune moments to pop in.”
Local Conservative Councillor Cameron Rose said: “I’m very glad the police have unearthed this. It is a reminder to us all to be vigilant and report suspicious activities. The search and recovery team usually do a great job, and I hope that there will be people brought to justice following this trove of jewellery that the police have uncovered.”
A police officer will always carry photographic identification and will provide these to prove their identify, if locals have any doubts, they are advised not to allow anyone suspicious into their home.