Police have issued advice to rural residents after a number of recent burglaries in the Ballyclare area.
Urging homeowners to be vigilant, a PSNI spokesperson said: “Before you leave your property, go into each room in the house and make sure that all windows are tightly shut and locked. If no window lock is fitted, you may want to consider buying one. A burglar may be less likely to enter your home if a window needs to be smashed.
“If you have a garage, put your car inside if you are not taking it on holiday. Make sure that all car doors and boots are locked and the windows are shut.
“Put car keys somewhere where they cannot be seen or easily found by a burglar. Recent improvements in car security mean that the easiest way for a thief to steal a car is to break into your house and steal the keys for it. Ensure your garage door is shut and locked.”
The spokesperson added: “If there are any bicycles or toys sitting around the outside of the house, put them away. If your bins are due to be emptied while you are away, ask a neighbour if they can put them out of sight.
“Make your house look occupied by putting lights and/ or a radio on timer switches. Set a burglar alarm if one is fitted to your home. Consider fitting an alarm if not.
“If you have outbuildings that store valuable possessions or have doors that lead to your house, this checklist can be used to make them more secure also.
“Neighbours can look out for each other. Chances are if a criminal targets one house in a particular street, they may try another a few doors up. You know who lives on your street so if you see someone acting suspiciously, please 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 that your information could prevent a crime.”
Earlier this week police issued an appeal for information after a tractor and trailer were stolen from a property in the Ballyclare area last weekend.
Anyone with information about this theft is urged to call police on 101.