Warnings are being issued to burglars targeting properties in North Tyneside.
Police are targeting active offenders and those who handle and sell on goods stolen in house burglaries in Whitley Bay and North Shields.
Neighbourhood Inspector Martin Brooks said: “Often these are opportunist offenders who look for unlocked doors and windows and, when they find them, they take the opportunity to sneak inside and steal whatever they can get their hands on.
“Frequently portable items such as cash, mobiles or wallets and purses. In some cases they will steal car keys too and drive off with the vehicle.
“Our advice is to do all you can to prevent becoming a victim by keeping your doors and windows securely locked at all times.
“Be vigilant and if you see or hear any suspicious activity, such as people walking up a street trying door handles, then report it straightaway via 101.”
Officers are increasing patrols in the areas where there have previously been offences reported.
Neighbourhood officers are also working with partners and are offering SelectaDNA crime prevention marking kits to help prevent further burglaries taking place.
Police Community Support Officers are visiting these homes and marking valuable property including mobiles, laptops, iPods, tvs, ornaments and jewellery with SelectaDNA microdot technology – giving individual property a unique reference number which is kept on a secure database.
This means that if any of the marked property is stolen it can be traced back to belonging to the address.
Any stolen property recovered by police can be checked for a microdot and if found, can more easily be reunited with its rightful owner.
It also helps police as the marked property links the criminal to the crime scene and provides hard evidence officers can use to put offenders before the courts.
As well as marking property, street signs are also put up in the area, advising people and would-be burglars that property in this area is protected by SelectaDNA.
Insp Brooks added: “We want to reassure people that we are determined to do all we can to tackle burglary, identify those involved, gather evidence and then bring them before the courts.
“We would also ask residents to play their part by keeping their doors and windows secure. By working together with local people we will tackle crime effectively and keep our communities safe.”
For more crime prevention home security advice visit www.northumbria.police.uk/advice_and_information/crime_prevention/home_security/