Durham Constabulary received reports of a burglary in progress earlier this week after a member of the public spotted a post on Facebook from the victim asking for help.
This caller was not the victim, nor did they even know the victim or even live in the same street. But it was 3.45am in the morning and they had in fact spotted the plea for help on Facebook.
The man in need had been awoken by the sounds of two men rummaging around in his belongings looking for things to steal. He hid under the covers, pretending to be asleep but was unable to make a phone call to police.
So while the burglars took their search for valuables to the hallway, the victim took to a local Facebook group in the hope of finding help. He wrote a brief post about what was happening, where he lived, and included a request for someone to call the police.
And thankfully his plea was answered and a call was made to Durham Constabulary’s control room from a person who had spotted the post. Officers were at his home within six minutes, but the suspects had fled.
Later that day, officers from the Durham City Neighbourhood Beat Team were on patrol when they received a call about an unrelated ongoing incident.
On arrival, the two officers quickly recognised some of the property taken from the burglary and two men were arrested.
Durham Constabulary say an investigation is ongoing into both incidents. Officers wanted the thank the member of the public who took the Facebook post seriously and called it in without a second thought.
Their actions meant officers were able to support the victim as quickly as possible.
If you are unable to speak in an emergency situation, call 999 and press 55 when prompted and then the call handler will know that help is required.
To help keep your property and belongings safe, Durham Constabulary have shared the following advice:
- Lock all windows and doors – even if you’re at home.
- Ensure no items are on display and remove valuables from your vehicle each night.
- If you have elderly neighbours keep an eye on them.
- A well-lit home gives the impression someone is in.
- Leave a light on or use timer switches so lights come on when it gets dark.
- Don’t leave your house and vehicle keys in the lock or on a side table in view of a window, making it easy for a thief to fish them through your letterbox.
- Don’t leave curtains closed during the day, only in the evening and overnight.
- If you have a house alarm, use it.
- In addition, secure any outbuildings and gates and consider installing a security light and/or CCTV.
- Report any unusual behaviour to us.
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