Soaring temperatures have led to a rapid rise in opportune thieves across Doncaster.
And as property continues to be stolen from insecure homes, vehicles and outbuildings, a leading police officer has issued a stark warning to residents.
Superintendent Eddie Murphy said that the scorching summer has meant more and more people are leaving doors and windows open, and falling foul of chance thieves.
He said: “The issue we are having is the weather which causes people to open their windows and doors for ventilation.
“We’re finding that people’s usual pre-bedime house checks aren’t taking into account things like conservatories which have been opened up.
“Residents appear to be locking their internal doors but forgetting the external ones and then leaving items like TVs, hi-fis and laptops on display.”
He said there had also been a surge in people leaving their convertible cars with the roof down, then forgetting to go back out and close it up at night, he added: “People aren’t checking their vehicles and then retiring for the evening.
“Just this last weekend we had four premises that have been entered due to downstairs windows being left open.”
Vehicle owners are also being careless when out and about in their cars. An operation on Saturday carried out by PCSOs saw 300 cars checked in and around the Hyde Park area and at town supermarkets, of these 15 were found to be insecure and had sat navs, handbags, clothing and loose change on view. Elsewhere, 100 vehicles were checked in Rossington and Auckley, ten of which were insecure and two had sat navs clearly on view.
“Basically you don’t really need to be an adventurous thief at the minute you just need to see what people leave on display,” said Supt Murphy.
“We’re asking people to understand that unfortunately we have a number of people just looking for things that are easily stolen.
“I fully appreciate people can’t be blamed for being a victim but you need to try and remember that your lapse in concentration could result in you becoming a victim. “We all pay premium insurance costs and I don’t think some would pay out for incidents involving insecure properties.”
He concluded: “The amount of thefts due to inecure properties and vehicles beggars belief, and it’s not unique to Doncaster, colleagues from other forces are witnessing the same problem.
“We are just warning, look after your property.”