Leeds students urged to lock doors and windows to deter burglars

burglaryBy Abigail Bates

WARNINGS HAVE been issued to new students in Leeds to make their houses theft-proof after burglars burnt their way through a front door.

Former Leeds Trinity University student Oliver Al-usta, 29, said thieves took a laptop, headphones and an iPod from his house on St Anne’s Drive, Headingley, on Sunday October 2.

Mr Al-usta, who now works at Barclays Bank, said: “They could have potentially burnt their way through or used explosives.

“My house alarm suddenly went off, I went downstairs and smelt smoke, when I looked into the kitchen I saw the drawers had been disturbed so it was pretty clear what had happened.”

Thousands of new students moved to the Leeds area last month – many living in the Hyde Park and Headingley areas which contains Chestnut Avenue, dubbed Britain’s most burgled street in 1997.

With 12 burglaries in the Headingley, Hyde Park and Woodhouse areas just last week, West Yorkshire Police are urging residents to be cautious of criminals in the area.

With 60 per cent of burglaries being through open doors and windows, the force’s student liaison officer, PC Matt Guy said: “A student area is a target rich environment, broken windows are more likely to happen if local youths can see students with good lifestyles.

“Lock windows and doors. You’ve got to do this. Create signs to remember to lock up, which makes it fun to double check.

“If you’re worried about the safety in your house you should contact the landlord or the police.”

Leeds Trinity University student, Amanda Rogan was living in Burley Park when she was burgled. She said: “It made me feel really uneasy, because we were in the house when it happened it was really scary.

“We had left our window open and didn’t realise, someone had stolen my purse and friend’s cigarettes.

“I spoke to people in the area and there’s a few people it’s happened to.”

Miss Rogan urged students to check all windows were shut and contact the police straight away if they see anything suspicious.

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