In the Media

How to keep burglars at bay, by your own burglar

PUBLISHED July 27, 2006

A serial burglar wrote to victims suggesting how they should improve their home security after his arrest.

Terence Greenwood, 33, urged 10 householders to contact a local firm of alarm fitters whose systems he had been unable to crack.

In his letters he also advised against leaving keys in obvious places.

He told his victims: "I wouldn't want what has happened to happen to you again because you don't deserve what happened to you.

"Could I please say the best way to protect your home is by having a good alarm by KHG and use window locks of some strength."

Greenwood, of Denton, Greater Manchester, who is already serving a sentence for robbery, admitted nine burglaries and one attempted burglary.

He was jailed for a further two and a half years when he appeared at Knutsford Crown Court on Tuesday where details of his apparent contrition emerged.

The court heard he had targeted homes across Cheshire last year, striking in High Leigh, Mobberley, Plumley, Lower Peover and Nether Alderley. He stole ?34,000 worth of property in one raid alone.

Greenwood began dispensing his poacher-turned-gamekeeper advice in correspondence after he was arrested by Cheshire Police.

He advised his victims: "When you go out always leave a radio on loud. This makes the burglary much harder.

"I've no more paper to tell you more, but I have told the police all I know. So please do not worry each time you go out. A good alarm will keep your home safe. Please forgive me for what I have done to you."

Passing sentence, Recorder Geraint Walters said the crime spree bore all the hallmarks of a sophisticated burglar and had left victims feeling "violated and unsafe" in their homes.

Nathan Brooks, 31, a director of KHG Security, in Knutsford, said yesterday: "One lady who was robbed by this man did in fact call us later to fit an alarm.

"She mentioned she had received a note from this burglar who had recommended our company and I had to take great pains to assure her he had nothing to do with KHG.

"We get the bulk of our business from personal recommendations, although I have never known a villain to put in a good word for us."