Householders are being warned not to make their home an attractive target for sneak-in burglars during the spring sunshine and lighter nights.
Residents across North Tyneside are being given a timely reminder by Northumbria Police to ensure their homes are secure.
Opportunist thieves can take advantage of the warmer weather and lighter nights when more people leave their windows and doors open.
As a result, at this time of year there is often a rise in opportunist crime and police want to nip any such problem in the bud.
Superintendent Mick Paterson, of Northern Area Command, said: “When it’s warm and the nights are lighter, it’s tempting to leave windows open or doors ajar and this is understandable, however, it’s vital people take steps to keep their home secure.
“This includes people making sure their homes are secure when they are out, locking doors and shutting windows, even if outside in the garden, in another part of the house or if only going out for a few minutes.
“Valuables, including car keys, shouldn’t be left in easy reach of doors and windows, and people should also take time to make sure their sheds and garages are properly secured.
“We have had a few recent incidents whereby people have simply reached in through an open window to steal items left in plain view.
“We would ask people to be aware of this and keep their property safe from opportunist thieves.
“While we’ll continue to carry out activity to target and arrest those suspected of being involved in burglary, we’re keen that residents have the right advice to protect their homes from thieves.
“We’d also ask residents to report any suspicious activity they see in their area to police.”
There are also planned patrols taking place in areas which have previously experienced issues of burglary.
Supt Paterson added: “We don’t want to see these types of crimes increasing as the warmer weather and lighter nights set in, therefore we are asking people to secure their homes by locking their doors and windows, even when inside but particularly when leaving the house – even if just for a short time.
“People should also be vigilant and ask their neighbours to keep a watchful eye out. Remember, if you see someone acting suspiciously, call the police.”
People can contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For further crime prevention advice, visit the Northumbria Police website – www.northumbria.police.uk/advice_and_information/crime_prevention/home_security/