Police carrying out a forcewide campaign to silence thieves are reminding people to keep their property safe in the summer months.
The advice comes as people spend more time outdoors in the warmer weather and lighter nights enjoying their gardens and riding bikes.
It brings increases in reports of theft of property such as gardening equipment like lawnmowers and strimmers, as well as tools and other items like garden furniture and bikes.
And there is a risk that people fall victim to sneak thieves who reach in through open windows and doors to steal property left nearby - such as mobile phones and car keys.
By taking a few crime prevention steps people can reduce their risk of falling victim to an opportunist thief this summer.
The advice is part of Northumbria Police’s Operation Soundwave, aimed at turning up the volume on crime and silencing opportunist criminals across the force.
Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable Jo Farrell said: “The warmer weather means people understandably are taking the opportunity to spend more time enjoying their gardens, and with doors and windows open to keep homes cool.
“But the summer also brings with it opportunist thieves who will take advantage if they see items within reach of doors and windows, sheds and garages left open or equipment and valuables left in the garden unattended.
“While we want people to enjoy themselves, we’d advise you not to be complacent. It’s vital you ensure homes and outbuildings are secure, valuables are out of sight and nothing is left unattended in the garden.”
More crime prevention advice can be found at the force website at http://www.northumbria.police.uk/crimeprevention, while people are urged to sign up to Immobilise at www.immobilise.com.