ELDENE residents believe they are being targeted by thieves after countless cars have been broken into over the past month – with the community wanting answers from the police about the lack of action into finding the culprits.

Furious residents have taken to Facebook in their masses to post photos of their damaged cars and to ask others for help in tracing those responsible but one thing many have in common is that they have been told that police can't do much to help.

Hannah Garbutt-Smith's dad had his car broken into on Tuesday night in Farman Close and despite reporting the matter at the first instance, the family say they feel helpless at the prospect of having to investigate the crime themselves.

The 19-year-old said: “I only posted what happened on Facebook to make people aware. Things like this makes you feel really unsafe especially at seeing how much is going on.

“My dad woke up and found the car smashed so he reported it to the police. All he got told was that nothing they could do or even send someone out.

“When you get told something like that you feel helpless really. I know my dad made a stupid mistake by leaving his wallet in the car but you couldn’t see it in view.

“It seems like a lot of people’s cars keep getting broken into for some reason – it just feels like we are being targeted.

“The police aren’t doing anything about it and so it would help if there was some sort of neighbourhood watch for the community or CCTV cameras around to help gather more evidence. Now we are trying to invest in CCTV to stop it happening again but it is expensive."

Thieves walked away with around £100.

Another resident who had their car broken into said: “I have lived in Eldene since 1999 and have loved living where I am up until about 18 months ago, that is when my car was intruded by thieves. Since then it has been constant, car break ins, garage break ins, property or cars being damaged, mopeds riding on footpaths late at night, daytime house burglaries and attempted break ins, gangs hanging around outside the entrance of Morrison's verbally abusing people entering.

“On Sunday night, I forgot to lock my car, left my house to go to work Monday morning, and my heart sank as I noticed my car door was open. I knew straight away that they'd been in my car again. Thankfully I don't leave anything of interest in my car, but these thieves are blatantly just walking around trying car doors hoping for a lucky strike.

“If they steal something it is awful for the victim, and even if they don't manage to get anything of value, they will never understand or care what they have done to their victims long term. They cause so much stress and anxiety with their thieving, not to mention added stress with having to deal with the police who I feel have not done enough to help Eldene with these ongoing problems.

“As an Eldene resident for many years, I have gone from loving it here to hating what it has become. It is very sad that probably a small minority of people are making living in this area feel like hell.”

Residents are so concerned that many have organised a meeting on Wednesday (August 16) evening for the community to get together in hope of coming up with a way of addressing the 'crime wave'. The meeting starts at 7pm in the Eldene Community Centre.

Despite the concerns raised from residents Wiltshire Police say: “We will always try to respond appropriately to the crime committed - taking in to account the nature of the incident and the resources available at that time.

"In cases like this, if an officer is not immediately available we will ask the victim to check locally for CCTV evidence and witnesses. Immediate action like this might lead to vital evidence which would help our officers find the offender(s) quickly.

"We appreciate that any theft is upsetting for the person who has had their property stolen - an officer has been assigned to the case which will have to be closed at this time due to lack of evidence."