Isle residents are being urged to make sure their homes are locked secure following a spate of sneak-in burglaries.
Thieves have targeted 14 properties in less than two months across Epworth, Crowle and north Scunthorpe.
Offenders have gained access through insecure doors and windows before stealing keys and then making off with the owner’s vehicles parked outside.
Detective chief inspector Paul Kirby, of Humberside Police, urged householders to stay vigilant.
He said: “I have seen the effect that burglary has on victims and it’s right that we prioritise reducing this crime.
“A huge amount of police and partnership effort goes into bringing offenders to justice and challenging and re-profiling their behaviour and drivers.
“This has led to significant reductions in burglary offences over the last five years, but there is always more for us to do.
“Prevention is clearly always better than the cure. The police have limited influence over this and rely heavily on the public to take basic steps.”
He added: “I’ve lost count of how many times in my career I’ve heard people say ‘If they want to be in, they’ll get in’.
“Whilst there is a small element of truth in that view, the reality is that a large proportion of offences are opportunist and easily preventable.
“The measures required to reduce the likelihood of you becoming a victim are quite basic and often free.
“When our local communities and groups have embraced this approach, it has made a real difference for them.
“I’d encourage everyone to work with us and do their bit to reduce burglary even further.”
Humberside Police have issued the following advice:-
*Don’t leave doors or windows open and insecure – even if you are only in the next room. It takes seconds to sneak in and steal car keys, so your car could be gone before you even realise what’s happened.
*Don’t leave keys and other valuables on show
*Don’t leave your keys hanging by the door – especially at night. Put them in a safe place and take them up to bed with you a night.