Hire boats burgled at Avoncliff

Two Oxfordshire Narrowboats hire boats were broken into at Avoncliff in the early evening after dark yesterday and valuables including laptops were stolen. The spate of boat burglaries has continued but boaters have reported more information to the police about suspicious activity along the canal.

A small white plastic motorised dinghy has been seen travelling along the canal at about 2am. A man was seen carrying what looked like a very heavy parcel, and a generator was later found in the water near Wilcot. A boater’s dogs were disturbed by a man carrying two heavy suitcases one night. It is believed the man may be short, muscular and aged around 50. A woman with untidy blonde hair, who looked unkempt, was seen sitting on the towpath at Pewsey, it is believed she may be a look-out. Two men in a grey Citroen people-carrier were seen behaving suspiciously, observing boats, at Pewsey. The number has been given to the police but it was discovered to be a cloned number plate. We believe the police have fingerprint evidence.

We have had the following reports about burglaries. On March 18th, a boat in Bathampton was broken into and items taken including wine and a pair of boots, and a boat on the Claverton permanent moorings was broken into. There was a break-in and an attempted break-in around Avoncliff recently. A boat was broken into at Wilcot on 26th March that had previously been burgled further east. It is believed that someone in a dinghy tried to steal a generator from a boat near Bradford on Avon, but dropped it into the water. The genny has been recovered but isn’t working. A bike that was not locked was stolen from outside a boat at Meadow Lane, Bathampton on 25th March. It is a red Dawes Galaxy touring bike with two children’s seats on it, one front, one back. Always lock your bike and if you see the bike, please contact us on info@boatingcommunity.org.uk or 07928 078208. Please report anything suspicious to the police on 101 or call 999 if it’s an emergency.

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