THIEVES are taking advantage of the hot weather as people leave their doors and windows open , according to police.
Officers are warning residents across Rotherham to exercise caution when leaving doors open and windows unattended while out in the garden, or elsewhere in the house, in an effort to prevent a wave of sneak-in burglaries.
And they are urging people to keep valuables, including car keys, out of sight to reduce the risk of opportunist-style burglaries.
A police spokesman said: “It only takes seconds for these thieves to get away with these items and by the time you get back to your door, you may even find your car on the drive missing, stolen after your keys were left out on show.”
Det Chief Insp Craig Robinson warned that it was essential to keep properties secure through the summer months in order to avoid “potentially scary” situations.
He said: “I would like to remind people that they must ensure back and front doors are always locked and that windows are not left open as about a third of home burglaries in Rotherham are down to insecure break-ins.
“It can be a very scary situation to find a stranger inside your home, or even find someone has been in and out while you were working in your garden or while you slept during the night.
“We will do everything we can to catch and prosecute criminals who take advantage of homeowners in this way, but we need the public to help fight against this type of crime by going now to make sure their doors and windows are secure and that they have not left their car unlocked or their keys and valuables on show.”
South Yorkshire Police suggest the following tips in order to reduce the risk of becoming the victim of a sneak-in burglary:
Don’t offer thieves an easy opportunity, keep doors and windows locked.
Don’t leave car keys on show near doors and windows and put items such as laptops, mobile phones and purses away from prying eyes.
Don’t leave keys in the locks or within grabbing distance through letter-boxes or open windows.
Fit door chimes or alarms to exterior doors.
Fit night locks on windows, preventing them from opening fully.
Keep vehicles locked at all times, even when on your driveway or in your garage.
Keep garage doors locked at all times.