Police are urging residents to be vigilant after a spike in burglaries in Bedfordshire last weekend.
Between Friday, September 3, and Sunday, September 5, Bedfordshire Police received 10 reports of burglaries across the county - eight in the south of the county, mainly Luton, and two in the north of the county.
The force’s dedicated burglary team Operation Maze works to identify emerging and changing patterns in offending, to help our communities protect their homes and prevent break-ins.
The team has identified a rise in so-called car key burglaries, which means the home is targeted primarily for the keys to the vehicles parked outside.
There are a number of ways you can reduce the chance of being targeted by criminals and police are encouraging everyone to follow this crime reduction advice:
> Make your house look lived-in - burglars won’t be tempted by a full house. If you’re out during the night, keep your lights on a timer and consider keeping your radio playing so it seems like someone is home.
> Lock up when you leave - make sure all and windows on your house, vehicle and garages or sheds are securely locked at all times. Not only can valuable tools be appealing to burglars, they can also be used to force entry to a home. If you have a PVC-U or multilock door, ensure that you lift up the handle and turn and remove the key.
> Keep valuables out of sight - keys, wallets, mobile phones and laptops left in view can entice opportunist thieves. Try to keep them hidden in a safe place or store them out of view of windows.
> Look out for neighbours - ask a friend to keep an eye on your house if you go away, and do the same for neighbours. Stay alert to suspicious activity on your street. Consider joining a watch scheme – to join or contact your local Neighbourhood Watch team.
> Burglar deterrent tech – Install an external light, camera doorbell and/or a burglar alarm.
Report incidents to Bedfordshire Police as soon as you can via 101 or online, always call 999 if a crime is in progress. You can also give information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.