Five arrests after theft spree

By Jonathan Kalmus, March 11, 2011

Greater Manchester Police say they have made arrests and stopped a spate of burglaries which have terrified Jewish residents in Prestwich.

Over the past two weeks eight burglaries have been reported affecting mainly Jewish homes. Some have taken place on the same night, just streets apart.

In each case one man has accessed houses through kitchen windows and walked freely around the victims' bedrooms as they slept, stealing computers, car keys and valuables. One fearful father, who lives on Tewkesbury Drive but did not want to be named, said a burglar was discovered in his 22-year-old daughter's bedroom, stealing her laptop.

The man had been into the bedrooms of the family's eight other children during the burglary, two Wednesdays ago.

"My daughter screamed and threw a heavy dictionary at him. That woke me up and I saw him run down our stairs and he fled taking our car. I didn't sleep for the next three nights," the father said.

One police officer went into plain clothes and had been patrolling at night while police doghandlers had been brought in to help solve the crime spree.

But Bury division police inspector Mark Kenny said on Tuesday that the incidents had been the work of more than one man.

He said: "We have made three arrests on Tuesday and two on Sunday following another burglary.

"We are still looking for another offender. But I'm pleased to say the incidents, by opportunist thieves, have now stopped."

Last updated: 10:54am, March 11 2011