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Tollcross students targeted in series of organised burglaries

BySarah O'Hara

Sep 27, 2017

Carefully planned burglaries in the Tollcross area have caused concern for residents after a number of crimes in the area.

This September, flats in traditional tenement-style buildings and a university-run student accommodation have been targeted, with laptops and bicycles stolen.

The crimes appear to be planned instead of opportunistic. In one building thieves used a process of elimination with the buzzers for the flats to gain entry.

Once they had accessed the building they made their way to a flat they knew to be empty after watching the building.

All the laptops in this flat were stolen.

Speaking to The Student, a Tollcross resident said: “They were sneaky about it. They buzzed flats and made note of people who answered and people who didn’t.

“They then lurked around the door and waited for people to leave. They then repeated the process to figure out who had left.

“They then gained entry into the stairwell somehow and just forced the door open. The lock is intact, but the door frame is not.”

Though crime rates in Edinburgh are decreasing, dropping by nearly ten per cent from 2015 to 2016, home break-ins continue to rise.

Analysis from the price comparison website MoneySuperMarket placed the EH3 postcode, which covers the Tollcross area, as the fifth most likely district in Scotland to claim for theft on home insurance.

As well as the forcing of latches on doors, bicycle locks were also targeted.

Thieves came prepared with equipment to cut the metal bars of Diego Street, a University of Edinburgh-owned accommodation and break open the bicycle locks.

A University of Edinburgh student and resident of Diego Street told The Student: “The metal bars were cut and the lock was opened from the inside.”

“We were told that security is investigating and will get any damage repaired as soon as possible.”

“We were told if you see anyone suspicious loitering about the site please call security.”

“As a counter-measure, they arranged for extra security patrols of the site and we were given advice on how to secure bikes safely and enhance our home contents insurance.”

Tollcross is a popular student area, but the recent crimes do not involve the lack of security or forgetfulness that often characterises student break-ins.

Instead apparently secure locks or latches were forced in a way that raised concern amongst residents who are unsure of what else they can do to protect their homes.


Image: Sara Konradi/Photo Editor

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