POWERTOOLS worth more than £1,400 and an ignition lock was broken in a JCB forklift truck as four outbuildings and garages were broken into in one night.

Police are urging residents to be ‘vigilant’ after two incidents on Sandy Lane and two others on Marsh Lane and Top o’th Lane in Brindle on June 28-29.

Sgt Paul Harrison says a new team has been trained and they are looking to tackle crime in rural areas and they will be working to crackdown on it.

He said: “It is important for residents to keep their buildings and doors and vehicles locked to prevent them from being the target of crime.

“Also with the hot weather we can understand people leave their windows and doors open but it increases the risk and I want people to be mindful of this.

“This is not to alarm people as we are stepping up patrols in the area and looking to run local operations targeting hotspot areas.”

One of the incidents was on Sandy Lane and a garage was broken into and a power tools and chainsaw to the value of £1,000.

Another theft took place in Marsh Lane where a cordless drill worth £400 was taken after a garage was left open.

Meanwhile, another property on Top O’Th Lane where someone got into a garage but had to leave without the power tools as they were disturbed from the scene.

A barn on Sandy Lane was also broken into and the ignition of the forklift truck was damaged during attempts to steal it.

Sgt Harrison said: “We have four new officers who are targeting crime including stealing plant machinery, poaching offences and sheep scaring.

“Over the next few months we will be running sporadic operations to target offenders.

“We already have two rural officers who have done it for a couple of years.

“We need any residents to contact us on 101 if they see anything suspicious.”