Recent incidents in Balcombe (7th October)

Dear Balcombe Co-ordinators / Residents,

You may be aware that over recent weeks there have been some incidents of criminal damage and theft:

- The Scout Hut was entered and items were taken and damaged

- Balcombe Primary School suffered some damage and graffiti towards the end of the summer break

- The Bowls Club was also entered and items stolen

We have also had two separate reports of vehicles being damaged in Newlands. These vehicles have belonged to people who have been visiting family members living in Newlands and their cars have been keyed and had their tyres slashed. Other vehicles have had threatening notes placed on them - (generally commuter vehicles).

I am aware that there is a lot of frustration amongst some residents in Newlands regarding the commuters that park in this road and I sincerely hope that this frustration has not manifested itself in these acts of criminal damage. To avoid any doubt or confusion I would like to confirm that any road user whose car is taxed is entitled to park on any highway, subject to any local council restrictions in place. No one reserves the exclusive right to park outside their house, unless living on a private road.

Police will be conducting extra patrols in the area to deter any further such activity and if possible to catch those responsible for all crimes mentioned above. We also have the use of Bait Vehicles which are utilised to identify and convict offenders who cause damage to and steal from vehicles in identified 'Hot Spots'.

If you have any information that will assist us with our investigations please contact me with details.

Thank you for your support,

Jayne Milne
Police Community Support Officer

Neighbourhood Policing Team
Police Station | Bolnore Road | Haywards Heath | RH16 4BA
Telephone 101 Ext. 21901

Two doorstop ‘salesmen’ (2nd July)

Details were circulated via Neighbourhood Watch just over a week ago and the two gents were stopped by me last Monday in Cuckfield. Unfortunately, we can't stop them from going door to door, all we can do is let our presence be felt and advise residents not to deal on the doorstep.
These types of door to door collectors use these tactics to gain entry into homes and commit distraction burglaries. They will also value items at far below their actual worth.
I would be interested to learn what vehicle they are using so if you receive any reports, please forward them my way.
I will also endeavour to be around as much as possible for reassurance (for the residents) and annoyance (to the jewellery collectors)
Jayne Milne
Police Community Support Officer
Neighbourhood Policing Team
Police Station | Bolnore Road | Haywards Heath | RH16 4BA
Telephone 101 Ext. 21901

Recent crime (26th June 2012

Please can I make you aware of some recent crimes and ask for your help with our investigations:

On Tuesday 26th June between approximately 12:00 and 13:15 a property in Cuckfield Road, Staplefield was burgled. Entry was gained via the kitchen window and items stolen included an i-pod touch, jewellery and medals. Serial Number 0838 of 26/06/12 refers.

Overnight on Sunday 24th June an off road Honda XR250 was stolen from the front garden of a property, also in Cuckfield Road, Staplefield. The bike is white with red and black markings on it. It also has "Blackbird" written on it. Serial Number 784 of 25/06/12 refers.

Between 13:00 and 20:00 on Friday 22nd June a quantity of lead piping was stolen from an outbuilding on Haywards Heath Road, Balcombe. As a result of this the owner has suffered flood damage as well. Serial Number 1474 of 23/06/12 refers.

At about 06:10 this morning thieves entered a building site in London Road, Balcombe. At about 06:30 they left with a digger valued at about £20,000. The digger is grey and red in colour and is fairly large. It is thought to still be in the local area and may well be parked up in a side road or a field. Offenders tend to do this as a means of checking whether a tracker has been fitted and activated following the theft. They will leave it unattended so there is no link to them as the offenders. If the stolen item is still there after a few days, the thieves will return to take it.

We would therefore be grateful if you could look out for this digger whilst on your travels around the local area. Please also continue to report any suspicious people or vehicles seen with as much detail as possible.

Special thanks go to the two residents in Cuckfield who reported being visited by the jewellery collectors on Tuesday. As a result of these calls, we were able to catch up with these males, identify them and take full details. Although we cannot stop them going door to door, we can make our presence felt.

If anyone has any questions or concerns about the above or if you have any information that will assist us with our enquiries, please contact us quoting the relevant serial number.

Thank you and kind regards,

Jayne Milne
Police Community Support Officer

Neighbourhood Policing Team
Police Station | Bolnore Road | Haywards Heath | RH16 4BA
Telephone 101 Ext. 21901

Tarmac Driveways (25th June 2012)

A silver Ford Mondeo Estate PX58YJN with a yellow stripe and Highway Maintenance on the side has been seen at 10am in Ardingly and at 1130 in West Hoathly today 26th June. Two males inside who spoke with an Irish accent were offering to tarmac peoples driveways. They claimed to be working on the local roads and have left overs so would do it for a nominal fee. This will not be the case and we are urging people to report to us if they see this vehicle of they are approached offering this service.

Doorstep Collectors (June 2012)

You may have received a leaflet through your door from a 'Mr Boyle' from Brighton who states he purchases various items from private homes. These items include jewellery, books, watches, furniture etc. I am aware that properties in Cuckfield have received the leaflet, and suspect that other villages may soon be visited.

Our advice is to treat this and any other such leaflets with extreme caution. This is a well known tactic used by distraction burglars to gain entry into your home and steal from you. Please do not deal on the doorstep and if you are visited by this man please let me know. In particular, if you see a vehicle I would be interested in the make / model / number plate.

The Mid Sussex area is currently experiencing a slight increase in home burglaries. This may or may not be related to visits of this nature and we want to ensure that all residents remain as vigilant as possible.

Please also be wary and report any offers of driveway works you receive. There is a firm currently doing the rounds offering to tarmac drives. They are known to police and Trading Standards and my advice is to not employ them. If you want work done on your property, do your research, get quotes and employ a local firm that comes with a recommendation from friends/family.

Don't fall victim to these unscrupulous characters and remember, when an offer appears to good to be true, it usually is!

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Jayne Milne
Police Community Support Officer

Neighbourhood Policing Team
Police Station | Bolnore Road | Haywards Heath | RH16 4BA
Telephone 101 Ext. 21901

Burglary in Ansty (20th June 2012) 

Please can I make you aware of a burglary that has occurred at a property on Bolney Road, Ansty.

Sometime between 14:50 and 17:30 hours on Wednesday 20th June entry was gained via the front door and a search of the property was made. Items stolen include jewellery, cash, bank card and a car key.

There was a dog in the property at the time of the burglary.

Please can I ask you all to be vigilant as we are seeing a small increase in the number of burglaries in the Mid Sussex area. If you were in the Ansty area on Wednesday do you remember seeing anything out of the ordinary? It is possible that the offender was travelling on foot as no large items have been taken. A car may have been parked further away from the property so as to not arouse any suspicion.

If you have any information that will assist our enquiries, please contact us on 101 and quote serial number 1434 of 20/06/2012.


Jayne Milne
Police Community Support Officer

Neighbourhood Policing Team
Police Station | Bolnore Road | Haywards Heath | RH16 4BA
Telephone 101 Ext. 21901

Petrol theft (30th May 2012)

Please be warned that there has been a theft of petrol from a car parked next to the pavement in Stockcroft Road. This occured on Wednesday night when a petrol pipe under the vehicle was cut allowing the thieves to siphon the petrol off.

Please spread this message as best you can so that other people can be warned.

Please park off the roadway if possible and install movement sensitive lights on your property to deter thieves.

Burglary (21st May 2012)

Please be advised that there was a Burglary in Oldlands Avenue, Balcombe.  Between 1030 and 1100 today the 21st May entry was made to a property from the rear by smashing the glass panel of a door.  It is believed at this stage that nothing was stolen.

There was also an attempted Burglary in Oldlands Avenue and believed to have occured at the same time.  The front door was forced but no entry made.

With one property, entry was gained via the kitchen door which had its window smashed - possibly with a sledgehammer that was taken from the rear garden. Nothing was stolen or disturbed within the property. This incident took place between approximately 10:40am and 11:00am on 21/05/2012

With the second property entry was attempted via the front door which was found to have been half jemmied open. No entry was gained. The damage was discovered at 3:30pm on 21/05/2012.

Please if you see anyone suspicious in the area report it to the Police so that we can attend and deal as necessary.  Also if you have any knowledge of the above crimes please call 101 quoting serial 496 of the 21st May.

Haywards Heath Neighbourhood policing team

Car vandalism (11th May 2012)

There have been a number of car crimes in Balcombe. They occurred last night (Friday) around midnight when damage was done to vehicles in Deanland Road, Bramble Hill and Newlands. I heard directly from the owner of a vehicle in Deanlands whose car was jumped on by the culprits a few minutes after midnight. Other vehicles apparently had windows broken.


A white Vauxhall Combi Van, index OV55UBG was seen on farms in the Cherry Lane area of Balcombe. It is believed the vehicle was using stolen or false plates. Also seen was an N reg Blue Mitsubishi Shogun. Any sightings, please contact Sussex Police by dialling 101 or 999 if you feel that crime is being committed and quote serial 0786 12/02/12.

Suspicious van

Your attention is drawn to a white Ford Transit short wheel base NC57FDO. 3 males with this vehicle viewed with suspicion when they approached a farm in Coolham at 11.54 AM today, 20/01/2012 as they were asking for batteries and scrap. Our ref SXP-20120120-0614.

2 Springer Spaniels stolen (1st January)

Between 16:40 and 19:35 on 30/12/2011 two English Springer Spaniels were
stolen from a locked kennel in Haywards Heath Road, Balcombe. Both are
liver and white bitches, chipped but without collars.

If you have any information that will assist us with our enquiries,
please contact us quoting serial number 1328 of 30/12/2011.

Be on the lookout for suspicious people / vehicles and report incidents
to police as soon as possible by calling 101.

Wheels stolen from Smart car (8th December)

Another report has been received of an incident in Balcombe overnight last night.

All four wheels were stolen from a Smart car that was parked in Mill Lane. This occurred some time between 21:15 last night and 09:00 this morning.

As before, if anyone has any information that will assist with our enquiries, please contact me with details.

Stolen vehicle (8th December)

Please can I make you aware of another 4x4 vehicle that has been stolen in Balcombe.

The Mitsubishi Shogun was stolen from Oldlands Avenue sometime between 17:45 yesterday and 01:00 this morning.

If you saw or heard anything that might be related to this incident, please contact me with details.

Please can I also take this opportunity to make you aware that a number of reports are being received of phone calls from a London based company who are telling residents that they are entitled to Payment Protection Insurance refunds. They are asked to send £100 via Western Union and are told that they will then receive a cheque.

Similar calls are also being made to residents regarding the refund of bank charges. With these calls, residents are asked to provide their bank details in order to claim a refund.

Please be wary of any such calls and never give out your personal details. If you are entitled to a refund, a visit to your bank is the safest way to verify and facilitate this.

Suspicious vans and cars

The suspicious car with very suspicious people seen looking down drives in stockcroft road was a vauxhall nova reg. J270 SPE.
Also seen doing the same in Bolnore Village.

At least 3 vans have been seen travelling slowly up and down Tanyard Lane, Staplefield over the last week. Suspicious vehicles have also been reported in other locations in and around Haywards Heath. Occupants have been seen looking into properties and on one occasion even opened a gate in order to approach the main house.

On one occasion the occupants when challenged have stated that they were looking to sell garden furniture.

Vans sighted this week include:

  DN11 YNW - a white VW Caddy van (seen Staplefield)
  HG10 HCJ - a silver Ford Transit (seen Staplefield and outskirts of Haywards Heath)
  LD03 NHT - a white Ford Transit (seen Ansty)

Please look out for these and other suspicious vehicles and call us immediately if seen on 101.

Two women steal wallet in Balcombe

On Tuesday at around midday an elderly gentleman was approached in his driveway by two females, thought to be European or Asian.

They asked for directions and whilst distracting him have stolen his wallet and its contents. His bank card was later used in Crawley.

It is thought that he may have been being watched whilst doing his shopping in Tesco, Three Bridges and that the offenders have followed him in order to steal his bank card. Please therefore be mindful when using debit/credit cards at cash machines or at shop checkouts. Be wary of anyone who might be watching you and always shield your PIN.

We have also received a couple of reports of doorstop sellers in Balcombe over the last few days. Some residents have stated that the male was heard trying the door handle before actually knocking on the door. An area search was conducted yesterday by police but the male could not be found. If he or indeed any others return please let us know immediately by calling 101.

Finally, Ipsos Mori have contacted us to let us know their operative Kevin Thomas will be conducting research in Balcombe over the next few days. He will only  call on addresses during daylight hours and will be in possession of Identification. He will be driving a blue Chrysler.

Stolen Dogs in Balcombe

Between 19:30 an 22:00 on 10/11/11 two dogs were stolen from the rear of a property on the outskirts of Balcombe. One is a liver and white Springer Spaniel called Wilson. Wilson is 10 months old and has ginger ears. The second dog is a 4 year old Border Terrier called Hooch. Hooch is mousey brown with flecks of black. Neither dog had a collar.

A Ferrett was also stolen from a property a few doors down and the two incidents are believed to be linked.

Neighbours have reported seeing a white 'N' registered van, similar to a Ford Transit in the area.

If you have any information that will assist us with our enquiries please contact us on 101 and quote serial number 1746 of 09/11/11.

Stolen Car

Between 21:00 on 02/11/11 and 17:30 on 03/11/11 a blue Land Rover Defender was stolen from a resident's driveway in Stockcroft Road.

If you saw or heard anything suspicious please contact us with details and quote serial number 1355 of 03/11/11.

Many thanks for your assistance.

Kind regards,


PS. Thank you to all of you who were able to attend last night's meeting. Those of you that couldn't make it, don't worry as I will be sending out some information next week in response to some of the issues raised and suggestions received.

Jayne Milne
Police Community Support Officer

Neighbourhood Policing Team
Police Station | Bolnore Road | Haywards Heath | RH16 4BA
Telephone 101 Ext. 21901


Distraction Burglary

At around midday on 28th October 2011 an elderly female in East Grinstead was targeted by distraction burglars. Distraction Burglary is where criminals call at your house posing as officials or asking for your help with something. They make up a story to get into your home with the intention to steal.

In this incident two males and one female, all aged in their early 20's and believed to be of Spanish origin, claimed to be lost and said they were trying to get to London. The female asked for a glass of water and one of the males asked if he could use the toilet.

A short while after they left the victim noticed that her bank card was missing and a small quantity of cash had also been stolen. Anyone with information regarding this incident should call police on 101 and quote serial number 1360 of 28/10/2011. Alternatively, you can call CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Some points to remember......

Distraction burglars work alone or in groups and can be very convincing with the story they use to gain entry into your home. Their aim is to keep you occupied whilst others sneak in to your home and steal cash and valuables. They can be men, women or children and will be either casually or smartly dressed. Many pose as gas, electricity or water company officials and some have even posed as Police Officers!

A few tips to keep you safe......

  • If you don't know who is at your door, don't open it. Check the identity of the caller by phoning the company they are purporting to be from. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or on your utility bills. Do not use any numbers provided by the caller as they could be bogus.
  • Some areas have Neighbourhood Watch and/or Nominated Neighbour Schemes you can sign up to. Check with your local Neighbourhood Policing Team for more information.
  • Many utility companies provide password schemes or hotline numbers for customers to call, to check the identity of callers before opening the door. Check your bills or speak to your utility provider for more information. A genuine caller will be happy to wait while you verify their identity.
  • Don't keep large quantities of cash at home.
  • Keep doors and windows secure at all times, even when you are at home. Remember to use your door chain when opening the door to unexpected visitors.
  • If someone asks for your help, for example: needs to make a phone call, needs a drink to take a tablet or asks for a pen and paper, refer them to a younger neighbour or assist them without letting them into your home.
  • If you suspect a bogus caller has visited you, even if you haven't let them in, please call the police straight away.

Don't forget our non-emergency number has changed to 101, but in an emergency situation always dial 999.

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