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Thieves steal boiler in Sheffield despite Operation Kingbird crackdown on boiler thefts

Although the police are targeting boiler thefts in Sheffield, thieves have managed to steal a boiler from an unoccupied home in Lowedges.

Thieves have reportedly stolen a boiler from an unoccupied household in Lingford Walk, in the Lowedges region of Sheffield.

The crime was reported on June 6th, although it is not known on what date the boiler was stolen. Anyone with any information is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on the 101 non-emergency number, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Boiler thefts have occurred with alarming regularity in Sheffield, with hundreds of boilers stole from residences in the town. The most recent theft appears to have occurred despite Sheffield City Council and the police force launching "Operation Kingbird" to combat this type of crime.

The multi-agency response involves setting up alarms and cameras in areas that have seen a number of boiler thefts. Furthermore, several 'trap houses' have been set up in council-owned residences, including in Lowedges, as well as in Sharrow, Gleadless Valley and Hillsborough.

These 'trap houses' contain hidden camera systems and alarms that will alert the authorities when there is any movement in the property. Gas boilers and other items that may be stolen by criminals have been fitted with Trackers and covered with SmartWater to make them traceable and ensure they can be recovered.

It is hoped that Operation Kingbird will not only catch criminals in the act of stealing boilers, but will also discourage them from doing so.

Detective Inspector Richard Partridge, who is leading the operation, described boiler thefts in Sheffield as an "ongoing issue".

He said that although the number of boiler thefts in the city has not increased in the last year, this kind of offence particularly damages local communities.

The local authority has to replace and repair boilers and central heating systems, which costs the public money, DI Partridge pointed out, adding that the theft of a boiler also puts the health and safety of both the thieves themselves and the people in neighbouring properties at risk.

He suggested that the stolen boilers are either being fitted in other people's premises or are being sold as scrap metal. This raises further safety implications, the police officer argued, noting that the boilers may be being fitted by people who are unable to do so correctly.

All gas appliance repairs and installations must be conducted by Gas Safe engineers; those that are not could put people in risk of gas leaks, explosions, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Interim Director for Council Housing Services at Sheffield City Council Janet Sharpe said there have been two convictions for crimes relating to the theft of boilers since the beginning of the year.

She revealed that all new boilers installed in the council's properties are security marked, which makes them harder to sell on.

Boilers in 'hotspot' crime areas are fitted with security brackets and alarms, while vulnerable unoccupied premises are protected by alarms and security screening, Ms Sharpe stated.

Tenants' rent money is being used to pay for boiler replacements when it could instead be used to provide services to these tenantsFind Article, she remarked.

Article Tags: Operation Kingbird, Boiler Thefts

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This article was written by Kevin Burke on behalf of 247 Home Rescue, a boiler and home emergency cover provider.

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