Homeowners across South Tyneside and Sunderland are being warned to be on their guard against seasonal criminals.
With the lighter nights and more people spending time outdoors, officers are urging residents to ensure security measures are in place for sheds and outbuildings.
Superintendent Sarah Pitt said: “People store expensive items in sheds and outbuildings - lawnmowers, garden furniture, even bikes - and it all adds up but people often don’t realise and don’t have adequate locks on the buildings which makes them easy targets for burglars.
“Security should really start at the garden gate and we would always advise people to think about what security measures they have, not just to protect their house but the whole of the property, including gardens, sheds and outbuildings.”
Superintendent Pitt added: “A few simple steps, such as securing door hinges with coach bolts or non-returnable screws, could prevent their shed from being targeted. Using a British Standard approved lock on shed doors and using a metal shed bar, all make a shed less appealing for burglars.
“If, possible don’t sore valuable items in the shed. But if valuable items are going to be stored in sheds then it is always a good item to chain them to a strong anchor point or to each other - anything that will make it difficult for a burglar to steal them should they break in to the building.”
For more crime prevention advice visit www.northumbria.police.uk