Parents in Colne, Foulridge and the Salterforth areas are being urged to be on their guard as calculating thieves target homes while they nip out on the school run.
Police have issued the warning after a number of break-ins where raiders have ransacked homes and escaped with thousands of pounds worth of goods. In the latest incidents, homes in Noyna Road, Foulridge and Castle Road, Colne were targeted yesterday (Monday) while parents were collecting their children from school.
Last Thursday, callous thieves raided a property in Salterforth and escaped unseen with priceless First World War medals and precious jewellery worth an estimated £20,000. The intruders forced their way into the house in broad daylight - some time during 2pm and 4-30pm yesterday (Thursday) while victim Jane Snell was collecting her children from school.
Among the items stolen were cherished First World War medals belonging to Jane's great-grandfather, a snuff box and mouth piece of a meerschaum pipe, an OBE medal and an assortment of jewellery ranging from Victoria/Edwardian times, solitaire diamonds, a platinum engagement ring with three diamonds, a gold engagement ring with three diamonds and other pieces of jewellery including expensive watches. In addition, other goods taken include a Samsung S5e tablet, an air rifle, and Xbox One and an axe used to break into the shed.
Devastated by the theft, Jane is now offering a cash reward of £500, which will lead to the arrest of the offender and the return of her precious goods.
Police investigations are continuing into the burglaries.
A spokesman for Colne and West Craven Police said: "Please be vigilant. It appears houses are being targeted during the school run. We would advise keeping items of value out of view and putting in whatever security measures possible (alarms, CCTV etc.).
"Additionally, if you were anywhere near Castle Road or Noyna Road between approximately 3pm and 5pm on Monday (July 1st) or witnessed any suspicious behaviour in the Salterforth area towards the end of last week, be it people or vehicles, please ring Police on 101 or use our online reporting service to pass the information on."