A THIRD of burglaries and thefts across Sunderland happen due to homes and cars being left unsecured.
Figures show that since April 1, there has been a total of 902 crimes of theft and burglary in the city.
Police said that of these, 328, or 35 per cent, have been made possible due to a lack of security.
A total of 37 per cent of house burglaries were due to unsecure homes, with another 16 per cent due to unsecure sheds or outbuildings.
A quarter of vehicles were stolen after being left unlocked while another 20 per cent had property stolen from them.
Almost half – 47 per cent – of bike thefts are due to them being poorly secured.
And 36 per cent of “other” theft offences were also down to items being left unsecured and unattended, such as handbags or mobile phones.
Acting chief inspector Paul Stewart, from Sunderland Area Command, said: “Sadly, a high proportion of theft and burglary offences in Sunderland may have been avoided had people taken a few moments to think about security.
“Locking your home, shed, car or bike takes seconds and this simple action could end up saving you so much in the future.
“Burglary is a crime which has a devastating impact on those who are victims of it. Knowing that someone has been in your home and through your personal possessions is extremely intrusive and upsetting.
“We would again remind motorists to remove any items on show in their vehicles which could tempt passing thieves.
“Many thefts are opportunist in nature and even a bit of loose change is enough to entice thieves, which will prove costly for vehicle owners in terms of fixing any damage. Bikes should be locked up at all times when not in use with a good quality D-Lock or a combination of locks, even if being left for a short period of time. This is all the time needed for an opportunist thief.
“We would urge people to report suspicious activity to us so we can ensure our resources are at the right place.”