Residents in Houghton are being urged to be on their guard after burglars targeted two homes in neighbouring streets in the space of a week.
The first incident happened on Monday, March 28, in Outram Street. A burglar smashed the back door window of a house, reached in and took the keys to the door and let themselves in. A bike was stolen.
The second burglary happened between 1.30pm on Sunday, April 3 and 6.20am on Monday, April 4, in Stanley Street. A burglar broke in and stole a television and games console after smashing a window. A number of other electrical items were also stolen.
Patrols have been increased in the area and police want local residents to help them by reporting any suspicious behaviour straight away.
Acting Neighbourhood Inspector Les Goodliff said: "The way these burglaries have been carried out is very worrying, it is vitally important we stop these types offences from happening and we want local residents to help us.
"If anyone sees anything in their street that looks suspicious or out of the ordinary whether you see someone peering into gardens or looking through windows or vehicles that don't appear to have any reason to be there, just anything that seems out of place, then you should report this to police.
"Look out for your neighbours, if you are at home most of the day but know your neighbours are often out at work keep an eye on their property.
"It may be that the person you thought looked suspicious had a genuine reason to be there, which is fine, but it could also potentially help prevent yourself or a neighbour from being burgled."
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “I can assure local residents that Northumbria Police are tackling burglary head on and will continue to treat these incidents as priority, working closely with the local community to identify those who are committing these terrible crimes.
"I urge people to speak to the police if they see anything suspicious in their area - no matter how small – it could provide the vital piece of evidence our officers need to identify those responsible and put them before the courts.”
This weekend Northumbria Police's volunteer police cadets will be on patrol in the area delivering burglary prevention advice to residents.
Any witnesses should ring 101. For information about the burglary in Outram Street, quote reference 421 of 28/03/16. For the Stanley Street burglary, quote reference 421 of 28/03/16.
Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.