Don't offer an open invite to opportunistic thieves

16 May 2017 10:00 AM

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As the BBQs turn on and garden parties get into full swing, Northumbria Police is reminding the public not to invite opportunistic thieves to the party.

Officers from Central Area Command, which covers Newcastle and Gateshead, are urging people to keep windows and doors secure and be vigilant for thieves looking for an easy target.

Central's Acting Inspector Paul Cook said: "While we're all enjoying the start of summer, would-be thieves are on the lookout for unlocked doors and open windows in a bid to get their hands on your valuables. Believe it or not, thieves are still using the classic fishing line method of grabbing keys, wallets and other items through our letterboxes.

Our advice is equally simple and straightforward: keep your valuables and keys out of sight and away from your door. Don't forget, always lock your door, even if you are in the house, and when you leave a room make sure the window is closed. If you go out make sure your home is secure. Let's not make it easy for them."

The advice follows a number of burglaries of homes in the Felling, Bensham and Low Fell areas, some of which are thought to be as a result of unsecure properties. Arrests have been made in connection with the incidents and patrols have been stepped up in the areas.

Cook adds: "Don't hesitate to report these kind of crimes by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. Or if you see one of our officers on patrol, they'll be happy to give you some top tips on preventing this type of crime."

Anyone with any information on the recent crimes in Gateshead is asked to contact police or the independent charity CrimeStoppers on 0800 555111.