Residents are being reminded to keep their property safe after a spate of car thefts following burglaries.
Police in Wallsend have dealt with three offences since January 16 where car keys have been stolen during burglaries.
Areas such as Hadrian Lodge, Holy Cross and Willington Quay have seen offences.
In some offences, suspects have gone in through an unlocked door while in others they have smashed a porch or doors window to reach inside.
Car keys stolen have either been left with house keys in the back of the door left on a nearby table or in the hallway.
Wallsend Neighbourhood Inspector Mark Storey said: “We’ve seen an increase in offences across Wallsend where car keys have been targeted during burglaries to homes.
“We’re carrying out operations – both high profile and covert – to both prevent offences and catch suspects, and known offenders are being targeted.
“We’re seeing a variety of methods from burglars – some are sneaking in through unlocked doors and on other occasions windows are being smashed.
“But they common factor is they only have to be in the house a matter of seconds to find the keys and make off in a vehicle.
“It’s vital people secure their property and are conscious of where they are keeping their car keys. Make sure doors and windows are locked and don’t leave keys in view or within reach.
“Don’t leave them in the back of the door – detach them from your house keys and store them somewhere out of sight.
“By taking a few simple steps to secure your keys it could prevent a lot of distress and frustration, not to mention cost.”
Police are also reminding residents to report anything unusual or suspicious they see in their neighbourhood to police straight away so officers can attend. And consider installing outdoor security lighting, CCTV and an alarm, all of which deters thieves.
For more crime prevention information visit www.northumbria.police.uk/homesecurity, while people are urged to sign up to free property register Immobilise at www.immobilise.com
Anyone with information about those involved in burglaries should contact 101 or to report a crime in progress dial 999.