Bungling burglars leave clues at Budleigh Salterton

police are keen to trace the ‘bungling burglars’ who attempted to break into a home in Budleigh Salterton.

Officers believe at least two people tried to break into the Exmouth Road home, between June 30 and July 16, but left empty handed after it is thought they were disturbed.

The police said the attempted burglary was a ‘professional’ job but dubbed the burglars ‘bungling’ after they left a number of clues and evidence at the scene.

Residents planning to leave properties unoccupied for long periods are being urged to safeguard their homes against burglars.

PC Adam Johnson, at Exmouth CID, said the burglary showed similarities to crimes committed in Sidmouth in the last year.

He said: “The burglars have peered through the windows. We can see clear disturbances and handprints left on the windows.

“Blinds or curtains at the window would have acted as a deterrent.”

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The police believe the burglars were disturbed, when a second alarm went off at the home, because they left behind a 20-foot long wooden ladder.

Officers said the ladder was used to reach and destroy a burglar alarm sited 30 feet up on the side of the home.

Also left by the burglars was the cloth part of a hammock, which officers believe the burglars intended to use to carry away their loot.

PC Johnson said the hammock material was distinctive and urged anyone who recognised it to get in touch.

Urging homeowners to protect their homes, PC Johnson said: “Don’t tell people you are going away. Tell as few people as possible. Use timer switches to operate lamps and television to make the property look occupied. Tell a close neighbour and cancel any milk or newspapers.”

Budleigh Salterton police community support officer Chantalle Major invited anyone planning to leave properties for a long time to call into the police station and leave details.

If you can help police, contact PC Johnson on 08452 777444, quoting crime reference KE/11/1889.