Cheshire Police is urging residents to think about security in the home as the light nights come to an end and the clocks go back this weekend.
The dark nights mean there is more opportunity for criminals to commit crimes without being noticed.
Superintendent Peter Crowcroft said: "We’re urging residents to remain security conscious and to take a few simple steps to ensure their home is secure - especially as the darker nights draw in.
"Burglars will always be on the look-out for any lapses in security - such as homes left in darkness - so it is important that people do all they can to protect both their home and their prized possessions.
“If people are going to be late home from work or out for the night they need to ensure their home looks lived in, is properly secured and not a target for thieves.
“By taking a couple of minutes to follow these simple steps it will greatly help householders in reducing their chances of becoming a victim.”
- Consider buying timer switches to turn on table lamps, standard lamps and radios around the home as it gets dark to make it look as if someone is at home.
- Fit external security lights around your home, garage or any sheds etc.
- Ensure that your home is kept secure at all times - even when you are at home.
- Keep desirable items out of view to passers-by - valuables should not be visible from windows and doors in your home.
- The same applies to valuable items stored away in garages or sheds - ensure that garages and sheds are locked with strong padlocks and, ideally, fitted with an alarm.
Drivers are being urged to play their part too − by keeping their car keys safe and secure at all times. There have been a number of car and key burglaries − where thieves have got into a house and stolen the car keys before taking the vehicle from the driveway.
- Ensure your car keys are not left on view and are kept safe and out of sight.
- Insecure vehicles are also an easy target for thieves who often check door handles until they find a car that is unlocked and then steal any valuable items from inside − or steal the car itself.
- Never leave your car running and unattended when defrosting the vehicle.
Superintendent Crowcroft added “We’re committed to doing all that we can to tackle this type of crime and as part of this we need the continued support of the local community
“I would ask all residents to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity - especially when it is dark - to the police immediately. Even the smallest amount of information can be useful when piecing together a case.
"I would also urge them to address their own home security measures to help make life even more difficult for thieves."
Anyone with information about this type of crime is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101 or online at https://www.cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries/ .
Information can also be passed on anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.