POLICE say they have been surprised how many properties in Penarth are left open and urged people not to forget to lock their doors.

“Perfect Penarth” might feel like the country village where everyone knows your name, but the town has been blighted by an endemic of thefts in recent months.  

Penarth Athletic Club, Penarth Lawn Tennis Club and Spencer’s Shoe Repair were all broken into in November.

In an extraordinary two-week period in September, Allan Sadler, Foxy’s Deli, Tony’s Taste of Italy, Windsor Castle, Café 64, Pizza Pronto and a business on Terra Nova Way were all broken into.

In an update at a town council meeting on January 18, Inspector Abi Biddle said officers patrolling the area were surprised how many places were left unlocked.

Representing South Wales Police, Insp Biddle confirmed investigations are on going into the spate of thefts - 16 reports - but admitted proceedings are taking a little longer than expected due to force personnel being drafted to incidents across South Wales.

Insp Biddle said police were hopeful for a conviction, but insisted people must remember to lock their doors.

“We have not forgotten about this,” said Inspector Biddle. “We hope for a conviction.

“There are additional patrols and we are more visible in the town centre which has paid dividends.”

Inspector Biddle described the burglars as “desperate” people, with some thefts amounting to as little as £30 or £40.

What her officers were most surprised about was, walking through back streets, the number of of properties they found with unlocked doors.

She said shelf sweeps were seemingly being done in big bags, but tried to reassure the public by saying this was a “unique” crime.

Insp Biddle added: “There is a significant amount of CCTV evidence to trawl through.

“Sixteen reports jumps out at you, but Penarth is a very safe place.

“It is a lovely town in a lovely part of the world.”

Penarth Times: CCTV Image of burglar break in to Penarth Lawn Tennis ClubCCTV Image of burglar break in to Penarth Lawn Tennis Club (Image: Penarth Lawn Tennis Club)

‘We are sitting ducks’ says shopkeeper in Penarth after spate of thefts

Is ‘Perfect Penarth’ a hotbed of crime?

In November, police confirmed several arrests had been made in connection with the spate of burglaries in the town, but nobody was charged.

In January, police said investigations are ongoing.

Penarth Times: Vince Tugwell, manager of Tenovus fears his business could be targetedVince Tugwell, manager of Tenovus fears his business could be targeted (Image: Newsquest)

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The incidents seem to have rocked the town.

Staff and volunteers at the Tenovus Cancer Care shop in Windsor Road are worried that they may become targets, telling the Penarth Times in November they felt like "sitting ducks".

Manager Vince Tugwell said: “We are here like sitting ducks waiting for it to happen as there is nothing we can do.” 

Is there a crime problem in Penarth? Are police doing enough? Have you witnessed or been victim to shoplifting? Let us know, emailing harry.jamshidian@newsquest.co.uk.