Dearne residents are being urged to protect themselves against sneaky burglars by making sure their homes and garden property is kept secure.
Police in Rotherham are reminding people to ensure that all doors and windows are locked and closed while residents are out in the garden enjoying the summer weather.
Officers warned people to make sure their garden equipment is also made safe as thieves are always on the look-out for anything they can steal including, barbeques, patio furniture, children’s toys, bikes and power tools.
They have also been known to use car keys left on display to steal cars and to use heavy garden equipment to smash through windows into homes.
Police advise as follows:-
* Avoid storing valuables such as power tools, fishing tackle or golf clubs in a shed. These items should be stored inside your home or a secure garage.
* If you have been working in your garden ensure that you lock away tools such as spades or forks when you’re finished. Tools left out overnight could be used by an intruder to gain access to your property.
* Screw windows on sheds or fit window locks. Hang old curtains or netting up against the window to prevent anyone seeing what is stores in your shed.
* Never leave spare keys hidden in your garden, garage or shed for children or family members. If hidden keys are found by an intruder and used to burgle your home you may find your home insurance invalid.
Andy Robinson, crime reduction officer for Rotherham, said: ”The starting point for many of the house burglaries in Rotherham has been through an insecure window or door. Up to 40 per cent of burglaries have occurred in this way.
“The solution to this problem is simple, never leave windows open and if you are working outdoors and the house is unoccupied, lock the doors to ensure that no one can sneak-in whilst you are at the bottom of the garden.
“There are offenders in Rotherham who walk around trying door handles, hoping to gain easy, quiet access to a house, and then to steal from within.”
He added: “Help us to stop these people by ensuring that if you are at home, you have dropped the latch on your external doors, or secured the door chain. Also, never leave items such as handbags, wallets, laptops and car keys on open display in unattended rooms.
“Please help us to prevent crime in Rotherham, by following the advice listed above. “