Officers have received increasing numbers of reports about criminals snapping certain types of locks to raid residents’ homes.
In the past year, there have been 210 break-ins – more than one every other day – across Doncaster where thieves have snapped a ‘Euro profile’ lock to get into a house.
One victim said she had been left shaken and unable to sleep after thieves broke into her home and stole her car.
The woman, of Scawsby, who did not want to be named, said: “I got up one morning and found that my car had gone.
“The thieves had snapped the lock of my front door and got into my home.
“I could tell that they had been in the living room and the kitchen because they had disturbed a few things.
“I can only hope they didn’t come upstairs because I was asleep and wouldn’t have known.
“I don’t care about the material things, the thing that’s really bothering me is that somebody was in my home. I’m glad nobody was hurt.
“My legs have been like jelly ever since.
“You don’t expect something like this to happen when you lock your door at night. I just didn’t know about these types of lock until the police came out and told me all about it.
“I have had an anti-snap lock fitted now.”
Eamonn Larkin, crime reduction officer for South Yorkshire Police, said: “The Euro profile lock was thought to be the be all and end all, but it’s actually the easiest lock to get in to.
“Lock snapping occurs when the lock itself is proud of the door furniture. The lock can be gripped and snapped, leaving the locking mechanism exposed. Seconds later a thief can enter a house quickly and quietly.
“I think the number of Euro lock burglaries is increasing.”
He urged residents to check what kind of lock they have and said that if they were unsure they could look online or contact him for guidance and advice.
“There’s lots of information out there, people just don’t know where to look for it,” he said.
“If you are still unsure, contact myself or your local PCSO who will be able to help you. We would rather be out preventing crimes than arresting burglars.”
Eamonn said people should always ensure they lock both their windows and their doors as this can reduce the risk of burglary significantly.
n Visit www.thecrimepreventionwebsite.com and www.locksmiths.co.uk. To contact Eamonn, call 01302 385869.