Hertfordshire Police are warning boat owners to be on their guard after three boats were broken into on the River Lea

Police in Hertfordshire have issued a warning to boat owners following a series of burglaries on the River Lea.

A narrowboat moored in Cheshunt was broken into on 9 February 2017 after offenders cut through a padlock.

A laptop, jewellery, handbags, passports and a bicycle were stolen.

Two similar incidents have been reported to the police in recent months.

On 26 January 2017, laptops, mobile phones and a digital camera were stolen from a barge moored in Windmill Lane.

In November 2016, a laptop was also stolen from a boat moored in the same area.

Protect yourself from boat theft

Detective Constable Chris Phillips, from the Broxbourne Local Crime Unit, said boat owners moored on the River Lea should think about reviewing their security arrangements.

“I am appealing for anyone who has witnessed any suspicious activity around boats moored in the area to please contact me. Any information at all, no matter how seemingly insignificant, could assist our enquiries,” he said.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to advise boat owners to review their security” stressed Detective Constable Phillips.

“There are a few simple steps you can take to help keep your property more secure. Consider fitting window guards and bars across entrance doors, as well as upgrading all locks to the best quality available,” he continued.

“Secure hatches and doors with heavy duty internal hasps and also consider fitting a CCTV system and security lighting. Additionally, don’t leave valuable items on the roof and chain up any bicycles” stated the police officer.

“If you witness any suspicious activity around boats, please contact police straight away. If you witness a crime in progress, always dial 999,” advised Detective Constable Phillips.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact the Broxbourne Local Crime Unit on the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.