Lock your doors and windows warn police

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POLICE are warning residents to make sure they lock their doors and windows this Christmas after a young woman’s insecure home was targeted by thieves.

The 20-year-old had her Hinde Street home in Lancaster targeted by burglars on November 30 after her back door was left unlocked.

The thieves took a £200 television and a £300 notebook computer.

They also took food from her fridge and dropped it over the kitchen floor.

Detective Inspector Martin Pearson of Lancaster Police, said: “Leaving doors and windows unlocked means you are making it easier for thieves to target your home and your treasured possessions.

“At this time of year, thieves know that many homes will have expensive presents being kept inside them.

“An unlocked door is almost an invitation for them to make an attempt to steal these items, which you have bought with your hard earned cash.

“Even if you are in your home, you should keep doors and windows closed and locked so that your home is secure.”

Other tips for beating the burglars and keeping your home safe include:

*Take the frame numbers of new cycles and the serial numbers of new electrical equipment for future reference.

*Remember, empty boxes left outside advertise that you have new goods inside - dispose of packaging carefully.

*If you go out for the evening - make it look like someone is at home by turning on lights and the radio. Don’t leave curtains open so people can see your decorations as potential thieves can see in.

*Consider fitting security lighting to the outside of your property and make sure hedges, fences and gates are in a good condition, with a strong padlock on where necessary.

*If you go away for the holiday period, use an automatic timer for lights and ask a trusted neighbour to watch your home.

*Don’t forget to cancel newspapers and milk if you have them delivered and either redirect your mail through the post office or have your neighbour take mail into the house - unopened Christmas cards and mail are a sure sign that a house is empty.