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Article from Kettering Evening Telegraph, August 9th 2000

Child Thieves Target Homes

Photograph of police constables with letters for delivery to residents
Pc Jonathan Maxwell, left, and Pc Simon Johnson
with letters being delivered to residents

Police hunt raiders as young as 10

Children as young as ten are being blamed for a spate of burglaries.

Police in Burton Latimer say a gang of about ten youngsters is carrying out the raids on homes while the owners are asleep.

Churches and social clubs have also been targeted by the child villains, most of whom are believed to be under 16 and who are thought to be led by a man aged aged about 20.

The problem has become so serious police have launched a special operation in a bid to catch the young thieves.

Officers believe most of the property stolen is being sold locally and are sending letters to town residents urging people with information to contact them.

Posters are also being put up in town shops as part of Operation Thistle.

Sgt Chris Smyth said: "The seriousness of the offences has steadily risen to an extent where homes are in some cases burgled while the occupiers are away on holiday, at work or in bed asleep. The thieves usually take property that can be sold quickly and it is our belief those responsible are known to Burton Latimer residents."

Police want to speak to residents who may have bought, been offered or know of anyone who has purchased or sold any items in unusual circumstances within the last few weeks.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 01536 400400 .

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