People are once again being urged to properly secure their sheds, garages and outbuildings to avoid giving theives easy pickings.
The warning comes after police have noticed a slight rise in the number of these types of break-ins.
Insp Paul Lawrence said: “Sheds, garages and outbuildings are often targeted by thieves as they tend to be less secure than homes and often hold expensive gardening and power tools or bikes and exercise equipment.
“Many people expensive items like lawnmowers or bikes out in the garden - where a thief just needs to climb a fence or unlock a gate to get at it. Tools left out in the garden like spades or forks can also be used by burglars to break into homes.”
Police have issued the following advice:
Always lock your shed or garage, preferably with two ‘hasp and staple’ locks - one near the top and one near the bottom of the door.
Secure your rear garden by locking entry gates with a padlock.
Burglars can use garden tools to break in, so make sure you securely lock away any tools after use.
Ensure boundary fences are secure and in good condition. Spiky plants along garden boundaries are good additional deterrents.
Tools and gardening equipment should be visibly marked with your postcode and house number - this can deter thieves and help police identify the rightful owner.
Remember to lock your garage door securely. Metal ‘up and over’ doors can be secured with extra locks fitted either side and/or a floor-mounted locking ‘T’ bar with a closed shackle padlock. Wooden garage doors can be secured with two substantial hasps and staple locks and closed shackle padlocks (DIY stores can advise on the most secure options).
If you see anyone acting suspiciously in your neighbourhood call the non-emergency 101 immediately
Register your valuable items on the free database www.immobilise.com - it is quick and easy to do and can help police return them to you if they are lost or stolen. It also helps police to prove that property found in a suspect’s possession is stolen.
For more detailed security advice click here or contact police on the non-emergency number 101.