'It's appalling': Security expert's warning after spate of Bridgnorth break-ins
"I'm getting people ringing every day saying my car's been broken into. It's absolutely horrendous."
These are the words of security expert Rik Bartholomew, who has been travelling around Bridgnorth and surrounding villages clearing up the mess created by criminals targeting the area.
A spate of crime including vehicle, shop and sports clubs break-ins have happened recently, and there has been criticism over the lack of police presence by residents and shop owners.
Concerns have also been raised that Bridgnorth's CCTV operators could be losing their jobs.
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A Kia car and a van were targeted last week in Abbeyfield, Bridgnorth. Expensive power tools were taken from the van including rotary hammers.
Thieves were also seen on CCTV breaking into a van at The Wheel pub in Worfield on November 14.
Rik, who runs RBE Electrical and Security, says he has had his hands full trying to help people beef up their security and keep their possessions safe. He believes criminals are seeing the region as a soft touch, and urged residents to be vigilant.
He said: "They're just running rife. It's appalling. It's a worry.
"It's only going to be a matter of time before someone gets caught in the act, they get confronted and somebody gets hurt.
"It's got worse and worse over the last couple of years. Bridgnorth is bad at the moment but you also look at places like Claverley as well. People are being targeted there too.
"I think they know that they can break into a car and the police won't come for 35 to 40 minutes, if at all. They think they can pretty much come and do what they want."
He added: "Look after anything of value. I've you've got anything valuable in your car or van, take it out and take it inside. I know for tradesmen with vans it's a pain to unload your tools at the end of the day, but it'll be more of a pain if you have to pay to replace them.
"Make it as difficult for thieves as possible. I park my van right up against the house and have my wife's car blocking me in. People will try your vehicle so make it as hard as you can to stop them taking anything.
"Just be aware. A lot of people don't even realise until it's too late. I'm aware because I see it every single day."
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