LATEST figures reveal homes in North Tyneside are being burgled at a rate of more than one a day.
Since the beginning of last month, 52 house burglaries have been reported in the borough.
No fewer than 20 of those homes offered a helping hand to thieves by having doors or windows left unlocked.
In seven cases, the thieves also stole car keys from the houses and drove off in the homeowners’ cars.
The flurry of break-ins has prompted police to warn householders to be on their guard.
Acting detective chief inspector Neil Brotherton, of North Tyneside CID, said: “Although house burglary is still at a relatively low level, with, on average, one crime reported each day across the borough, we believe many of these could easily be prevented, simply by householders making sure their doors and windows are always kept locked.
“We know that residents with uPVC front doors can be tempted to leave doors unlocked because a family member is expected home soon.
“Or when they’re just popping next door for a few minutes, it’s tempting to leave a door ajar.
“But in these cases it only takes a few seconds for an opportunist thief to try a door handle or push open a window further to help themselves to your valuables.
“Our message is simple – don’t make it easy for thieves to steal your hard-earned property. Keep your home safely locked to help to prevent crime in your neighbourhood.
“Over the last six weeks, we’ve also made over 40 arrests for burglary offences, and we will continue to target known offenders.
“Police are also stepping up patrols to prevent crimes in affected areas.
“Remember, if you do see someone acting suspiciously in your community, walking up your street trying doors, then please contact the police straight away as your actions could prevent you or your neighbour becoming a victim of crime.”
To report suspicious activity, call police on 03456 043043 ext 69191 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.