Residents are being warned to secure their homes to stop sneak thieves in their tracks.
Police have issued the warning after thieves took advantage of insecure back doors to burgle properties in the Howdon and Willington Quay areas.
Matt Bruno, Acting Neighbourhood Inspector for the area, said: “These latest incidents show how easy it is for thieves to access insecure homes.
“But they could have easily been prevented had the door been locked.
“While we will be carrying out activity to deter and target thieves, we need residents to help themselves from becoming a victim of burglary.
“Don’t give an open invitation to thieves and make sure doors are locked, even when inside your property.
“An open window or door is also all the more attractive if small, easily taken items are left on show, such as a laptop, jewellery handbag or keys.
“Sometimes the costs can run even higher if car keys are stolen with thieves making off in the vehicle.
“Simple things like locking your doors and removing keys from the lock, closing your windows or investing in a timer switch for your lights can make a real difference to protecting your property.”