I had a rude awakening this morning. I had been planning a much earned lie in. At just after 7am, my mobile phone went. I was rather surprised to see the number. It was from Steve who works for the contractors who fitted out our studio. These guys start early every day and they are putting together a quote for some more work. I was mildly fed up to be woken up, but the world doesn't revolve around my laziness, so I took the call. Steve is normally a cheerful soul, so immediately I knew something was wrong. He explained that his firm had been burgled and all of their plant/ laptops etc stolen. Even worse, they were running a health and safety course for their staff today. An outside firm was doing the training and the police had said that they couldn't enter the building. Steve asked if he could rent one of my studios, as his staff were due to sit an exam and the invigilator was on site. He was asking if he could rent a studio from me for the day, so that the course could be completed. Steves company are in an adjacent building to my studios, so I was able to sort the studio out and Steve could get on with his course.
There are four things I'd ask readers of the Barnet Eye to consider
1. If you were in Mill Hill on Flower Lane or Bunns Lane between midnight and 6am this morning and you saw anything unusual, please contact the local police.
2. If you are offered any laptops or construction equipment, please contact the local police.
3. If you are offered anything else which you think may have come from a burglary or other theft, please contact the local police.
4. Keep your eyes open in your own locality. If people you don't recognise as neighbours are acting suspiciously let the police know.
Burglary whether of homes or businesses is never pleasant. The small amounts of money people raise from selling stolen goods is dwarfed by the cost, hassle and expense for the victims. This trade only thrives because some of us are greedy and want things cheap. My business has been burgled twice. Each time it caused huge hassled for me, my staff and my customers. We've been lucky with our house, maybe two large dogs helps. Friends have not been so lucky. Whenever someone is burgled at home, the effects go way beyond the simple cash and hassle issues. People do not feel safe in their own home. I've spoken to the police about this several times. They tell me that it extremely rare for a burglary to be carried out by someone who they don't know. Most burglars are serial offenders, who treat it as a job. As with many things, this particular trade can only exist because we want to get things on the cheap. Barnet is a relatively wealthy area and as such is seen as rich pickings. The best response to this is as a community. Don't buy stolen goods and work with local police to keep our properties safe.