POLICE in Sunderland are urging residents not to shed expensive items because of poor security to outbuildings.
The warning comes following increased reports of burglaries to sheds, garages and allotments across the city.
Officers, both high visibility and plain clothed, are patrolling affected areas to deter and target thieves as part of Operation Chandra.
In Sunderland East, Operation Fraction has been set up to target people selling on suspected stolen property from the burglaries.
Neighbourhood Policing Teams are also giving out crime prevention advice to the public in a bid to reduce further offences.
Acting Chief Inspector Jamie Southwell, from Sunderland Area Command, said: “Most people think about the importance of home security but may not fully consider this in relation to their gardens or outbuildings.
“The theft of any property, whether household goods or gardening equipment, can still be very upsetting to the owners. Tools can also be easily used to commit further crime.
“Taking simple crime prevention steps like making sure sheds are secured properly, garden side gates are locked and protective planting is used, can all go a long way to stopping burglars in their tracks.
“Security marking goods with a postcode is also a way of ensuring items can be returned to their rightful owners if stolen and recovered by police.
“I’d ask people to visit our website and find out more about crime prevention to help make sure they don’t fall victim to thieves.”