DETECTIVES have issued a warning to festive burglars.
Operation Predator, which aims to reduce the number of burglaries across Sunderland, is once again under way.
The operation proved a hit when it was rolled out earlier this year, leading to police arresting more than 200 people.
Now officers are warning they will be out in force once again as they continue their crackdown over the festive season.
They have said that anyone caught will face the consequences and potentially celebrate Christmas behind bars.
Detective Inspector Mark Ord, who leads the operation, said: “We want to send out a clear message that burglars are not welcome and we will not hesitate to take robust action against them.
“Despite the fact it’s Christmas, our crackdown will continue and Operation Predator will continue to see a dedicated team work relentlessly to find those responsible throughout the festive season.
“Our message to burglars is simple – police are out to catch them and when they’re caught they could find they’re spending Christmas behind bars.”
As part of Predator, police are also asking residents to play their part in keeping burglars at bay by making sure they keep their homes secure and do not leave valuables on display.
Christmas presents, including wrapped ones, should also be kept out of sight.
Det Insp Ord added: “We continually ask for our community’s support and urge anyone to report any suspicious activity to us straight away.
“We’d also urge residents to reduce their risk of being a victim by making sure they leave their properties secure and don’t leave windows and doors open or unlocked, or valuables on display.
“We know most people like to put their presents under the tree before Christmas but would advise them to make sure this isn’t in view of any potential burglars.
“Even if the presents are wrapped, they may seem tempting to an opportunist thief.
“By following a few steps, residents can help us by making it even harder for the burglars in the first place and also help stop them from being broken into.”