North Antrim police: Don’t let the burglars break your heart

Police in the Ballymoney and Ballycastle area are aware that burglary can be a very emotive crime as many victims feel their homes and privacy have been invaded.

Officers are keen to emphasise to householders the importance of reassessing their crime prevention routine.

Police are also keen to warn car owners to protect their keys as criminals use creeper style burglaries to break into houses and steal car keys.

Active criminals like to scour the streets for easy opportunities to steal cash and valuables, so residents need to stay firmly committed to crime prevention and need to start making life much more difficult for those involved in this type of crime.

Criminals know that house-holders unwittingly leave their doors and windows unlocked and will not hesitate to take advantage of those who do. Thieves see an open window as an invitation to gain full access to your home and steal your valuables. Don’t let them in.

-When you go out, always lock the door and close/lock the windows even if you are just going out for a short time.

-Window locks, especially on older windows, will help stop people getting in (and remember a burglar is less likely to break in if they have to smash a window).

-Use timer lights and radios if you need to be away from home overnight. They will create the impression that someone is in

-Consider fitting some additional physical security to your car such as a steering wheel brace or gear lock.

-Keep sheds and garages closed and locked and don’t leave bicycles or other items lying in the garden when not in use - put them away.

-Keys should not be left hanging in the back of doors, take them out and put them somewhere out of sight. Thieves will check for this and, if your keys are hanging inside the door, they will break the window and lift the keys. There is a good chance your car keys will be on the same key ring. They will take your car if they have the keys.

-Don’t leave spare keys outside or in a garage/shed. Ensure they are kept out of sight and put in a secure place in the house if possible.

It is equally as important for neighbours to look out for each other. Chances are if a criminal targets one house in a particular estate he may try your neighbour or someone else a few doors up. You know who lives on your street so if you see someone acting suspiciously note down any important details such as a description or car registration and contact police. We will follow up on your call and there is every possibility your information could prevent a crime.

Your local Crime Prevention Officer will be only too happy to call out to your home or have a chat on the phone about how you can take steps to better protect yourself and your property. Ring 0845 600 8000.