POLICE in March are keeping an open mind over whether a series of burglaries in the town are linked.

Patrols have been stepped up following a spate of break-ins, many involving businesses. Seven are known to have taken place over just one weekend.

PC Phil Richardson said: “We have increased patrols in an attempt to stop these burglaries and catch those responsible, but we would also ask residents to report any suspicious behaviour and call police if they have any information.”

Gavin Philpott, a committee member of March Chamber of Commerce, said the break-ins were a cause for concern. He advised local businesses to take extra care and, where possible, make sure valuables are not easily accessible on the premises.

“The police are working on it,” he said. “We are hoping that whoever’s doing it is caught and brought to justice soon.”

Manager Eileen Frost knows only too well the damage caused by a burglary, after the Cancer Research UK charity shop in Fenland Walk was broken into.

The back fire doors were smashed open with a crowbar and the premises was searched. The safe was prised open and money stolen.

“It was shocking,” Eileen said. “Things seem to be getting worse. They’re breaking in to get money, people are shouting and swearing in the street. People don’t seem to care anymore.”

Recent burglaries include:

• Stotts Fish and Chip shop, on High Street, was broken into between 10pm on January 24 and 6.30am the following day. Thieves smashed the glass in the rear door and stole a Samsung 32” plasma television, hundreds of pounds of cash and caused hundreds of pounds of damage to the building.

• A property under renovation in Creek Road was broken into between 6.30pm and midnight on February 4. A window was smashed and power tools, copper and brass plumbing fittings were stolen.

• A brick was used to smash a window into an attempted burglary at Westry Hall, Wisbech Road, between 6.30pm and midnight on February 4.

• In Eastwood Avenue, a burglar got in through a door and stole a camera, a Nintendo and some cash, between 7pm and 8pm on February 6.

• Holiday With Us on High Street suffered a break-in and a safe was stolen. The incident was reported on February 6.

• A quantity of cash was stolen from a property in High Street between 5.15pm on February 5 and 7.30am the next day.

• Electrical items were stolen from a boat moored at the pumping station near Barclays Bank. This was reported at 2pm on February 5.

• A tin of biscuits was stolen following a break-in at Station Road, which was reported on February 6.

• Cancer Research UK charity shop, on Fenland Walk, was broken into between 5.30pm on February 7 and 7.30am on February 8. The safe was forced open and several hundreds of pounds were stolen.

• Take-away Eastern Promise, also on High Street, was targeted between midnight on February 8 and 4.30pm on February 9. Several hundreds of pounds was stolen, including money from a charity box and a fruit machine.

If you have information about any of the crimes listed here, call police on 0345-4564564 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.