Police in Warwickshire are urging the public to make sure they keep their homes secure.
Around 30 per cent of burglaries take place without thieves having to break in. Instead, they get in through an unlocked door, or a window that has been left open.
Now police are urging householders to make sure they keep doors, patios and downstairs windows shut, even when they are in the house.
Inspector Wayne Cooke, head of harm reduction for Warwickshire Police, said: “People need to get in to the habit of locking the door behind them when they come into the house.
“We all walk into the house and put our car keys and handbag or briefcase down as soon as we get inside the house. Then we walk into another room, or get busy doing something else, leaving these valuable items near to an unlocked door. It only takes a couple of seconds for a burglar to open the door, reach in and take them and we know there are thieves out and about who are looking for just such an opportunity.
“Often the first you know that you have been a victim of burglary is when you go to look for something in your bag and find it isn’t there, or you go to get the car keys because you are going out again and you can’t find the car keys. All too often, the car will have been stolen as well.
Recently a woman in north Warwickshire discovered her handbag, containing her purse, credit cards and mobile phone, was missing from the living room of her home.
The front door was unlocked, and she had been in another room at the rear of the house, unaware that her bag and belongings had been stolen sometime in the previous couple of hours.
The thief made several calls on her mobile phone and had even sent a photo message to one of her contacts before she realised the phone had been stolen.
Police therefore advice people should consider installing locator applications on their electronic property such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
Information on property locator systems and apps is available online and at electronic retailers.
Insp Cooke added: “At the end of the day, if you lock your doors, patios and downstairs windows you can help reduce the chances of becoming a victim of burglary.”
Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police are supporting a national burglary and handling stolen goods week of action as part of their two-month “Darker Nights” campaign to reduce burglary.
For further crime prevention advice on avoiding burglary and other crime, visit http://www.warwickshire.police.uk/crimeprevention