Victims shocked by Manchester burglaries

Prestwich and Broughton Park residents have been shaken by a spate of audacious robberies.

Up to a dozen Jewish households and businesses have been burgled in the past fortnight and police are urging community members to step-up security measures in their homes.

Most of the robberies have been in the early hours of the morning. In four cases thieves entered the victims’ bedrooms.

A Prestwich mother recounted her fright at waking at 4am to see a man rummaging through her possessions. Her husband was away and she was at home with her two children.

“I got the shock of my life,” she said. “I didn’t believe what I was seeing. What was unusual was that he had no sense of urgency.”

Around £150 worth of foreign currency was taken, along with the family car, which police recovered a short distance away.

After another robbery, a Broughton Park resident found large kitchen knives left out on a counter-top, presumably for use if the thieves had been confronted by the homeowners.

“I’m glad I didn’t encounter them,” he said. “I was concerned when I saw the knives.”

Community officer PC Chris Grayshon said the robbers were not specifically targeting Jewish homes. But the layout of the area made for a comfortable getaway.

“The thieves are opportunists who look for the easy houses,” he warned. “They need money in the run up to Christmas. We are urging residents to be aware of security, keeping car keys locked up at night and valuables out of sight.”

No arrests have been made.

Last updated: 3:48pm, August 17 2009