Homeowners are being advised to review their security following a spate of night-time burglaries in the Gainsborough area.
The offenders have targeted home in villages with uPVC doors which have locks that can be easily snapped off.
They then enter the property and typically steal cash jewellery, gadgets and vehicle keys before driving away in the householder's car.
This method of entry means there is very little noise and victims are not aware they have been burgled until the next morning.
Lincolnshire Police have stepped up patrols in villages near Gainsborough and are also asking the public to take preventative action by fitting anti-snap locks, which can cost as little as £20.
Other official police advice includes:-
1. Review your security by checking that surrounding gates and fences are in good working order and locked.
2. Ensure that all of your doors and windows are locked at night and when you are not home during the day.
3. Check that any valuables are not on obvious display.
4. Make sure that your vehicle keys are not within easy reach – consider taking them upstairs with you at night or putting them in a secure place to prevent easy access for thieves.
5. Before going to bed check that your vehicle is secure and the outside gates or garage is locked. External lighting is a good preventative measure – check that this cannot be easily reached by would-be thieves and that it is in good working order.
6. Consider alarms on sheds and garages – these can be obtained quite cheaply and are an effective deterrent. CCTV systems are widely available now and can act as a good deterrent also.
7. Keep an inventory of all items and record serial numbers. Use a UV pen to mark valuables. If there any electronic items within your household consider placing the serial numbers on www.immobilise.co.uk so that they are registered.
If you are the victim of a burglary you are advised not to touch areas where the offenders have been in order to maximise the evidence police can retrieve, which helps to identify offenders.