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Saturday November 28

Thieves steal door handles and art across Brighton and Hove

27 September 2013

Police are appealing for witnesses to a series of thefts of artwork, ornaments, door knockers and handles.

Officers are investigating offences at eight addresses in Brighton and Hove where thieves have stolen external door furniture or got into communal blocks to steal paintings and other items of value.

The first offence happened at a communal block in Arundel Terrace, Brighton, when a thief got into the communal hallway to steal items.

Brass door knobs and finger plates were taken as well as a mirror and a red Brompton Road Bike between 11.30am on 14 August and 8am on 15 August.

Brass door handles were stolen from a home in Hanover Crescent, Brighton, on 11 September and a brass plaque was taken from the front door of a home in Marine Parade, Brighton, where thieves also tried unsuccessfully to take the metal railings.

A communal block in Eastern Terrace, Brighton, was targeted late on 18 September or early on 19 September by a thief who took a mirror and a painting. The property had been broken into in previous months when antiques, paintings and brass doorknobs were taken.

On the same day brass door handles were taken from a communal block in Arundel Terrace and a brass plaque was taken from Royal Crescent Mansions in Marine Parade, Brighton.

The next day an offender got into a communal block in Courtenay Terrace in Brighton and stole brass carpet rods, two paintings and a CCTV system.

The last offence being linked to the current series happened between 6pm on Saturday 21 September and midday on Sunday 22 September at a block of flats in Grand Avenue, Hove, when a thief took door handles and a mirror.

Crime prevention officer Chris Dimmer said: "Thieves appear to be targeting door furniture and antiques because they know they can find a buyer for them easily.

"If you have been offered items like this at a price that seems very cheap they may well have been stolen. If we find them they will be confiscated and you will not be reimbursed.

"I would urge those who have valuable art and antiques to take photographs of it and make a note of its measurements so if items are stolen we can more easily link them back to you if they are recovered.

"You can also make it harder for thieves to steal door handles and plaques by fitting anti-tamper and one-way screws."

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Betts said: "We have detectives currently working on this series of crimes and have also directed patrols to targeted areas and other parts of the city where there may be the opportunity for similar offences.
"I would urge anyone with information to contact us and for people to be vigilant and ensure communal entrances are well secured at all times."

Anyone with information about the thefts should call 101 quoting serial 260 of August 15 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. If you see a theft taking place call 999.

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