TWO homes were burgled by a thief who walked in off the streets.
The raids in Whitehall Street, South Shields, have prompted a police warning to residents to make sure their doors are locked.
The intruders struck overnight on Saturday.
In both cases, the thief was able to gain access to the properties through an unlocked back door, before going on the hunt for items to steal.
From one home, a pair of sunglasses, a computer game and a rucksack were stolen, after the living room and kitchen were searched.
At the second house, cash and a handbag was taken after the intruder managed to get access to the living room and a bedroom.
Neighbourhood Inspector for the Riverside, Peter Sutton, said: “These latest thefts should be a reminder to residents of the need to ensure their doors are locked at all times.
“The vast majority of burglaries happen at homes where the criminal has been able to gain access through an unlocked door.
“We are doing all we can to prevent people becoming a victim of a burglary by launching targeted operations and high profile patrols.
“But residents also need to take responsibility for ensuring their properties are secure.
“It’s not just about locking the doors and windows when people go to bed, it’s about making sure they’re locked all the time.”
Anyone with information on the thefts or saw anyone acting suspicious in the area is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.