BURGLARY victims from across Nottinghamshire are joining police to urge others to do whatever they can to protect their homes.
The appeal comes as officers look to reduce burglaries at homes and businesses over the festive period and is part of a crackdown launched at the start of the month.
As part of the crime reduction initative there will be an increase in additional resources, including special constables, officers working longer hours, and targeted patrols to reduce acquisitive crime.
A number of known offenders will also be visited throughout the initiative.
For the past few years the number of burglaries across Nottinghamshire has reduced, but figures recently show reports are beginning to climb.
With manufacturers using increased security measures such as trackers and immobilisers to protect vehicles, thieves may look to break-in to properties to steal car keys.
Det Ch Insp Simon Firth, who is leading the burglary reduction initiative, said: “We have seen an increasing number of break-ins at homes where car keys seem to be the main target.
“What we also find is a lot of people leave their keys on the side, just inside the front door – a seemingly convenient place to put them as you return home.
“It is also an extremely convenient place for a thief, who can smash a window and grab them or walk in through an unlocked door, pick them up and drive away with the vehicle.
“Hiding keys away from view, in a drawer or a cupboard that is easily accessible but away from prying eyes is the safest option.”
A third of all burglaries are committed by a thief trying a door and walking in, or reaching in through an open window.
Darren Surgey, one of the Force’s pre-crime managers, said: “Many of us save all year to buy expensive gifts and gadgets for our loved ones. This also means valuable goods are a lot more accessible than at other times of the year.
“Burglars don’t think about how breaking into a person’s home will make them feel.
“They will take anything they think can be sold on. If you are offered something at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is, but it could actually have been taken from one of your relatives, a neighbour or a friend.”
Anyone with any information about those committing burglaries is asked to contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.