Have you seen any of this stolen jewelry?

Detectives are investigating after an expensive collection of jewellery was stolen during a burglary in Well, near Bedale.


Sometime between 5.30pm and 10pm on Tuesday 22 November 2011, a property on Bedale Road was broken into and almost £20,000 worth of jewellery was taken.

The stolen items included a gold link bracelet worth £3000, a diamond encrusted tie pin valued at £1,500 and ladies’ Gucci watch.

Officers believe that the offenders used a pair of ladders to gain entry to the house through a first floor window.

Police, who have been making house to house enquiries and conducting forensic examinations, are appealing to anyone who saw any suspicious people or vehicles in the area at the time of the burglary to get in touch.

Detective Constable Gillian Gowling, of Northallerton CID, said: “Being burgled is a distressing experience for anyone and in this case it is particularly upsetting due to the value of the items stolen, some of which were very personal to the victims.

“I am appealing to anyone who has information about the burglary to contact the police or Crimestoppers with information.

“I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have been offered any of the items for sale in suspicious circumstances or seen them for sale anywhere.

“I would also like to advise all home owners to be vigilant and take the necessary security steps to ensure they do not become a target for thieves.”

Anyone who can help the police with their enquiries is urged to call 0845 60 60 24 7, select option two and ask for DC Gillian Gowling, or Northallerton CID, quoting reference number 12110197887.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.


A full list of the stolen jewellery:

  • One pair of 18 carat oblong shaped gold cuff links initialed BvC
  • Two pairs of 18 carat oblong shaped gold cuff links initialed GvC
  • One pair of 18 carat gold squared and corrugated cuff links
  • Gold stick pin for a tie with emblem of a grouse made of small diamonds with a ruby eye
  • Gold stick pin for a tie gold with an emblem of a horse shoe made of small diamonds with inset sapphires
  • One stud set for stiff collar and buttons on shirt made of white ebony and gold
  • Silver flat oval hairbrush with white bristles and initials GVC
  • A five stone diamond ring, circa 1930, the five graduated cushion shaped diamonds
  • A gold link bracelet
  • A pair of 18ct yellow gold knot earrings
  • A pair of white and gold entwined earrings
  • An 18ct yellow gold wedding band with engraving inside
  • A square amber / topaz ring mounted on a gold band the stone approx 1cm square
  • An aquamarine single drop necklace, ring and bracelet
  • A ladies 6000L Gucci watch
  • Two yellow gold tie pins with fox masks
  • A horse shoe stick pin with one stone missing
  • A coral necklace

Talk to your vulnerable relatives and neighbours.


There has been another sad story of a pensioner in Whitby being conned by theives claiming to be from the ‘Water Board’ to gain entry into a property and then steal cash. Other incidents have been reported in York and Thirsk and they target the vulnerable of the community. How can you help?

  1. If you have an elderly relative or neighbour warn them how common this crime is becoming and remind them to ask for ID.
  2. Perhaps consider offering to check credentials of any callers yourself.
  3. Remind them that the water board, electricity board, gas board no longer exist.
  4. With most legitimate work that needs to be carried out, they will have received a letter in advance and will be expecting someone, even then, ask to see their ID, any genuine workmen will not mind.
  5. Try and get them to use the keychain on the door as a matter of routine, a lot of vulnerable people think them unnecessary.
  6. A lot of companies have a password scheme where you can register and this will be used by all employees to confirm their identity.
  7. Lastly, please check on your vulnerable relatives and neighbours regulary; a close community can wipe out this type of crime.

Argos Con Artists Spotted by Vigilant Staff

A story that caught my eye this week was the conviction of two con artists that had been targeting Argos and B & Q with a scam involving an electronic scanner and till rolls, forged product labels with catalogue numbers and a received stamp. A member of staff in the Middlesbrough store had become suspicious and the police called resulting in the arrest of Sion Roberts and Andrew Jones. Of course it is commendable they were eventually caught, especially as they are estimated to have stolen £24000, it does make me question the frequency that stores change their procedures.

For as long as I can remember, Argos have issued very similar looking receipts and once your item is passed to you it’s stamped with the received stamp, I’m thinking maybe the larger store groups should be looking at different ways to stay one step ahead of the crooks.

Even smaller retail outlets can add simple changes to their procedures and receipts to ensure that they minimise the risk of fraud. Programmable cash tills make this easier, but when buying one make sure you can add codes, descriptions and change it regularly. Make sure all your staff are aware that there are people out there who will try and rip you off, take addresses off customers that make returns and check back to see if any name appears more than once and just be aware. That customer is not necessarily bringing back goods they aren’t entitled too, but it all helps build awareness.

Electronic Pickpocketing, new ways to lose your identity.

I read a story on a forum about electronic pickpocketing recently, the basic story is that using RFID technology or radio frequency identification technology someone with a simple hand held scanner can scan your purse or wallet and from that extract your credit or debit card details.

Obviously something that needed a little further investigation as what was being said is that someone walking past me could easily and without my knowledge get my bank details and brought a whole new dimension to the world of card skimming.

This is the video I watched.

Now being the skeptical soul that I am, I was immediately drawn to the fact that the guy who is telling the story is also selling a way to solve it, preying on peoples fears to make money always warrants further digging. Here in the UK, we aren’t really using RFID technology for debit and credit cards, so I guess this at least gives us the opportunity to say we don’t want it. I looked through my purse, not one of my cards has the symbol that suggests RFID is present.

Looking at the video, the scanner has to almost touch the card, certainly it has to get very close before it appears to work.

This article on Snopes suggests that this can only work if people only have one card in their wallet as information becomes garbled if they have more than one.

I’m not overly concerned about the card skimming, the manufacturers will be currently working extra hard to try and curb this. The main concern I have is that RFID is coming into use in a big way with passports and driving licences and I think we should always be careful about allowing products that transmit our data at all.