POLICE are reminding Rotherham residents to keep doors and windows locked to prevent sneak-in burglaries during the dark autumn evenings.
Earlier sunsets provide perfect cover for opportunist burglars as they roam the streets looking for insecure properties, they warn.
Det Chf Insp Craig Robinson said: “Unfortunately, more often then not, within easy reach of these unlocked doors and open windows are bags, purses, money, laptops, mobile phones and keys.
“It only takes seconds for these thieves to get away with these items and by the time you notice something is wrong, you may even find your car on the drive missing, stolen with keys left out on show.”
“About a third of home burglaries in Rotherham are down to insecure break-ins, with criminals targeting these vulnerable properties whether or not you are inside your home at the time.
“I would like to remind people that they must ensure their back and front doors are always locked and that windows are not left open, even if you are inside your property.”
Advice from South Yorkshire Police on preventing sneak-in burglaries also includes keeping valuables away from windows, using timer switches in well-used rooms while away from home, installing external lights with motion sensors and not leaving keys close to external doors.
“We will do everything we can to catch and prosecute criminals who take advantage of residents in this way,” DCI Robinson said.
“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.”
Police are also encouraging those with information about burglars or stolen goods by calling 101—the new non-emergency number for South Yorkshire—or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For more information on securing homes against burglars visit www.southyorks.police.uk/adviceonsafety.