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Issue 326 – Councillor catches car criminal

A NEWLY-elected Frome town councillor has caught a car criminal red handed. Local residents believe the man is responsible for a spree of car damage and thefts from cars in the Long Ground and surrounding area of Frome.

Cllr David Anderson, who is an Independent for Frome (IfF) councillor representing the Keyford ward, caught the man as he was attempting to break into his neighbour’s car in the early hours of the 28th of April.
“My wife, Kate, is the real hero,” said cllr Anderson, “she heard something outside, got up to have a look and alerted me. When I went outside, the thief was sat in my neighbour’s car. My wife alerted the neighbours and the police were called, who then apprehended the individual.”

Ducks attacked

Over a four-month period the area along the Locks Hill corridor in Frome has seen an alarming rise in car crime. There has also been destruction and theft of livestock taken from residents’ gardens.
On 13th March, Anna Summers and Paul Edwards found that two of their Indian runner ducks had been stolen from their enclosure. Then last week, Justin and Dan Brown found two of their ducks seriously injured.
Justin said “On closer inspection it appeared that the ducks had been attacked with an axe or similar weapon. The injuries meant they had to be destroyed.”
The RSPCA have been notified about the crimes.
In the period from 27th of April to the 1st of May alone, four cars were broken into and severely damaged on Long Ground.
Resident Justin Brown said, “I believe we have had around 17 acts of car vandalism and damage ranging from last year up until the beginning of May.
“My car was broken into recently, the headlining ripped off, locks smashed and the offside rear window was shattered. The extent of the damage actually wrote off the car. The car was my pride and joy.
“What can the police do in this situation? I know they have now apprehended someone, but it is not as if there can be a unit constantly sat in the street.”
Another resident of Long Ground, Martyn Payne, who has had his car broken into on two separate occasions said, “We are fed up, everyone who lives in Long Ground is becoming more and more concerned about the rising level of crime in the area. The police are doing what they can, but it is unclear how the crime can be stopped.”
A spokesperson for Somerset police said, “A 27-year-old male was arrested following a number of vehicle crimes overnight 27/28th April along the Locks Hill corridor in Frome. The male has been charged with four vehicle- related crimes and was remanded in police cells for court. He appeared in Court on 30th April, where he was granted conditional bail. Enquiries are ongoing by Mendip Targeting Team, a unit based in Frome who are investigating these and other vehicle crimes in the area.”
Sgt Tim Gillingham of Mendip Targeting Team said, “Unfortunately I cannot discuss ongoing investigations but we have had a number of successes recently with regard to arresting vehicle crime offenders, partly due to increased patrols in Frome, and we continue to put our resources and efforts towards catching and locking up those responsible.
“I appeal to all vehicle owners in Frome not to leave valuables inside their vehicles. And I would be very keen to speak to anyone that has information concerning car crime in Frome or is offered property likely to be stolen. Please contact Mendip Targeting Team via 0845 456 7000 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Residents are also concerned about the attacks on livestock which have taken place in Long Ground. On 13th March, Anna Summers and Paul Edwards found that two of their Indian runner ducks had been stolen from their enclosure. Then last week, Justin and Dan Brown found two of their ducks seriously injured.
Justin said “On closer inspection it appeared that the ducks had been attacked with an axe or similar weapon. The injuries meant they had to be destroyed.”
The RSPCA have been notified about the crimes.

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