THE POLICE are urging local householders to be vigilant to protect their homes from burglary.
In over 40 per cent of burglaries reported to police in Newtownabbey, criminals have been able to gain entry to homes through unlocked doors or windows.
With this in mind police have urged people to secure their homes to deter an opportunist thief.
Police are also urging the public to consider installation of security systems and lighting which can also act as a deterrent.
It is also wise to keep valuables out of sight.
Crime manager detective chief inspector Colin Gillis said: “A safe is a wise investment for securing precious items such as jewellery, credit cards or financial documents. Don’t leave keys in plain view or in a door lock.
“It is not just occupied houses that can be vulnerable - properties under refurbishment or that are vacant can also be susceptible to criminals.
“Thieves will make off with whatever they can get their hands on even if it means stripping the house of the copper piping. It is important for owners to make regular checks of their properties.”
He went on: “Burglary across the whole of the district is down more than 26 per cent this financial year compared to the same period last year with a fall in domestic burglary of 25 per cent. This is an extremely positive trend and one we would like to see continuing.
“Householders can help us by taking sensible steps to protect their home and their belongings against thieves. It is imperative therefore that people remember to close and lock windows and doors at night or when the house is unoccupied. Do not make it easy for the would-be burglar.
“Our police officers will continue to address burglary through targeted patrolling and raising awareness of crime prevention, however, the community can also play a part by looking out for neighbours, reviewing household security, making sure that doors and windows are kept locked and reporting any suspicious activity immediately to police.”