Residents of Altrincham, Bowdon, Hale, Hale Barns, Sale and Timperley
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Real-life example of a recent burglary (Tuesday 12th March 2019) – Bowdon

A community initiative to make the community safer

Real-life example of a recent burglary (Tuesday 12th March 2019) – Bowdon

It was one of those busy Tuesday evenings on the 12th of March 2019 when we returned from work and had to rush off again for different activities. My husband and I decided to divide the tasks and he took the kids for martial arts and I left shortly after, around 6:35pm, to attend the parents evening at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. As I reversed out of my drive and was leaving the street I noticed two white men, in their late 20s-early 30s dressed in black with their hoods up walking with a swagger. They didn’t look like they were residents of our street and my gut feeling was they weren’t right. I looked one of them, around 6ft tall, in the eye and hoped he’d not seen the house I’d left from. I drove off much to my regret later.

When I returned an hour later I noticed all the lights on. I knew that moment that we’d been burgled and my heart said it was those 2 men I’d seen as I’d driven off. But I wasn’t sure they were still in. I was petrified and as I got out of the car I wasn’t sure whether they’d rush outside and attack me. I stood frozen not knowing what to do. I couldn’t go inside .. what if they were there! My husband hadn’t returned. I didn’t know what to do. I then called our neighbour and asked them to come out as I felt someone was in our house. I noticed the side gate fling open and I missed a heartbeat but continued to stand frozen. Our neighbours came out and told me to call 999. I called and as I was speaking with them and was giving them my details my husband returned. The kids were whisked away to our neighbours to make sure they don’t see the worst. One of our neighbours said they were enough in number to brave opening the house door and they did. Unfortunately my fear came true. We’d been burgled! We had laptops and jewellery stolen and the house was turned upside down. I was devastated. The police arrived and they checked the house to see if the burglars were still in. They’d left. They’d entered from the side gate which didn’t have a padlock and then broke the conservatory glass door and entered. Unfortunately we didn’t have a functional alarm, as we’re on a rental, and so with no security they relaxed and spent 30 minutes inside our house (as emerged later from our front neighbour’s cctv footage). They even left from the front gate strolling away with a black bin liner which had our stuff (again caught on cctv)!

After the police had gone and the broken-in patio door had been boarded up, we tidied the house up and then brought our kids back home. They were crying in fear and didn’t want to sleep in their room.

The fear hasn’t gone away and our lives haven’t come back to normal yet. But one thing this incident did do is awaken us and make us think beyond our own safety. We want our neighbours safe and our community safe. We want more funding to help police reinstate their burglary units and have more police patrolling. We want criminals behind bars not us behind bars in our own homes! We want the authorities to sit up and listen to the fear in our voices and take some action!

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