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Police are reminding residents to always lock their homes and vehicles properly at night after several burglaries and thefts.

A taxi driver had his taking stolen after he left it unlocked on his parent’s driveway in Birkdale overnight.

And a tradesman had his van stolen, along with his wife’s handbag and purse, after a side door to the family home in Hillside was left insecure.

Local police are investigating the crimes and neighbourhood inspector Nigel Stewart called on people to take more time to secure their property and deter thieves.

He said: “Burglars are opportunistic so it is vital that we all do everything we can to stop them in their tracks. In recent incidents, people have left front doors or patio doors unlocked while they were elsewhere in the house, or their vehicles unlocked overnight when they went to bed. This, unfortunately, has enabled offenders to get inside and steal their hard-earned belongings.

“One poor man has had his days takings stolen from his cab, another has had his work van stolen, and people have had handbags, cash, coats and mobiles also taken.

“It is an easy thing to forget but so important to do, especially during the lighter nights and warmer weather. It doesn’t take long to double-check you’ve locked up your house or car properly and it could save you the hours of stress and upset that come with being burgled.”

Simple steps to deter burglars and car thieves, include:

-Lock front and back doors when you are elsewhere in the house or in your back garden
-Make sure you lock UPVC doors properly by lifting the handle and turning the key
-Make use of your burglar alarm when you are going out or to bed at night
-Keep valuables such as laptops, phones and handbags out of sight and away from windows where someone peering in can spot them
-Don’t leave valuables on display in your vehicle – take them with you or, if you can’t, at least put them out of sight in the boot
-Always lock your vehicle, even if only leaving it unattended for a few moments, and activate the alarm



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