Homeowners across Bognor Regis have been urged to think like burglars this Christmas.
The advice from Sussex Police is aimed at getting householders to be aware of how those who break in to properties react.
It has been issued in response to a series of recent burglaries to business and private premises around the town and because of the distressing incident highlighted in the Bognor Regis Observer on page one today.
Others occurred in Stocker Road and Victoria Road in Bognor overnight on Sunday.
A grey Dell laptop and a silver Yedelli watch and bank cards were stolen from the property in Stocker Road.
Two iPods were taken from the Victoria Drive address.
A daytime raid on a property in Richmond Avenue resulted in a Dell laptop being stolen along with a Playstation 3.
A pink jewellery box, bottles of perfume and watches were also taken.
Police community support officer Michelle Davies, of Bognor police station, said: “When you’re thinking about how to make your home burglar-proof, you have to think like an opportunist thief, because a burglar will look for telltale signs of weakness in your home.”
This work should start at the front of a property with matters such as fixing broken gates and making sure doors have enough locks and are secure.
‘Beware of the dog’ signs should also be avoided.
They indicated a lack of an alarm in a property, she said.
“If the front of a house looks weak to an opportunist burglar, he can guarantee the back of your house will be even weaker.
“A thief knows he’s safe as soon as he can get around to the back of a home.”
A burglar will first search for keys inside a home as well as small items – jewellery, credit cards, bank statements – which he can easily carry away.
This enables him to return later to take any other items of interest. He could find out the date from the calendar which is inevitably hanging in the kitchen, she said.
Business owners could help themselves by keeping attractive items in secure storerooms, removing money overnight and banking safely.