Catcliffe floods: Handbag and £400 iPad stolen from car as South Yorkshire Police increase patrolling
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South Yorkshire Police has shut down rumours of a rise in thefts and burglaries in Catcliffe as they increase patrols in the area.
Catcliffe was left under water for several days after Storm Babet wreaked havoc on the Rotherham village. As many households were forced to evacuate their homes, concerns rose in the community about the possibility of break-ins, as well as what devastation they would find when they returned to their flooded homes.
Officers are stepping up patrols in the area to provide reassurance to the community.
Since Friday, the force has received one confirmed report of theft from a motor vehicle in which a handbag and iPad worth £400 in total was reportedly stolen from a red Seat Arona in Orgreave Road on Tuesday, October 24.
It is reported that there have not been any further reports of thefts, and there has not been a spike in crime levels in the area.
Rotherham Superintendent Andy Wright said: "We are aware of rumours on social media of multiple reports of thefts in the Catcliffe area following the floods and while we are investigating one report, we have not received any other confirmed reports of burglaries or thefts in the area.
"I want to reassure members of the public that, based on all the information we have, these rumours are simply not true and that following the floods, a high number of officers remain in the vicinity to provide support and advice.
“We have also responded to a small number of reports of intruder alarms being set off in the area. These have all been attended by officers and appear to be the result of electrical issues following the flood rather than any break-in.
"We are also aware of reports of car boots being open in areas affected by floods. I have spoken with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and they have confirmed that car boots can spontaneously open and electric car windows can automatically wind down when flood water interferes with the electrical equipment in vehicles.
“If you have any concerns at all, please do not hesitate to speak to our officers while they are out and about. They are there for you.
"We have additional officers on patrol through the day and night from our Neighbourhood Policing Teams, with support from our colleagues in Special Constabulary, Roads Policing and Operational Support."
Councillor Chris Read, Rotherham Council leader said: "We welcome this commitment from the police to help address concerns we have heard from residents about the threat to property in the area. It’s quite understandable at the moment that residents are feeling worried about their properties, and of course we all want to ensure that nothing makes this very difficult situation worse.
"Supporting the additional patrols, our operational CCTV van has been also positioned in the area over the last couple of days. We would encourage all residents to report any criminal matters to the police as a matter of urgency so proper investigations can be actioned."
Witnesses or anyone with information about the reported theft in Orgreave Road is encouraged to contact South Yorkshire Police via their online portal or by calling 101, quoting incident number 654 of October 24.
Alternatively, the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously via freephone 0800 555 111 or at Crimestoppers-uk.org.