HOUSEHOLDERS in part of South Tyneside are being reminded to lock their doors after a rise in sneak-in burglaries.
The warning comes after police were called to eight properties in the West Shields area since the beginning of the year.
However, officers say the vast majority of the burglaries could have been avoided if people had locked their doors.
In some cases, people were in the property at the time when burglars sneaked in to steal goods.
Thieves have also been known to go round different homes, trying doors to find one unlocked.
The reminder is not the first issued by police.
Neighbourhood Inspector Peter Sutton said: “We can not stress enough how important it is for people to ensure their doors are locked at all times – even when they are in the house.
“Too many times, officers are visiting homes where a burglary has taken place to discover thieves have gained access through an unlocked door.” Police say often it is easily accessible items which are being stolen including purses, handbags, laptops, mobile phones and jewellery.
Insp Sutton said: “Taking simple precautions like locking doors and windows and removing keys from locks can make a real difference to protecting your property.
“We would also urge residents who see people acting suspiciously around homes where they live to contact police.”
Police can be contacted on 101 ext 69191.
For crime prevention advice, visit www.northumbria.police.uk