A SCOTTISH police force is warning residents to make sure their homes are secure over the festive period.
Tayside police say that in the past week, there have been four sneak-in thefts and three break-ins within Dundee alone.
Insecure doors and windows have allowed many of many of the thefts.
In Park Avenue, a thief or thieves snuck into a house through an unlocked door while the householders were entertaining friends. Car keys were lifted and then a handbag stolen from a car parked outside.
In a similar case, a house in Mains Loan was entered while the occupants were asleep in the late evening. Electrical items and bank cards were taken. A 29-year-old man was arrested in connection with this offence.
Worryingly, a criminal went into an insecure house in Balbeggie Terrace and when disturbed by the householder, threatened him with a knife before making off with a laptop, bag, cash and mobile phones.
As part of the on-going After Dark campaign, officers are providing information and advice to residents to enable them to deter opportunistic thieves.
Divisional Crime Prevention Officer, Colin Brough said: “We know that people have any number of things on their to-do lists in the run up to the festive period but I would ask them to make sure that their home and their personal safety are kept high on the agenda.
“Apply the simple crime prevention measures at home, such as locking their front and back doors, as well as windows, even when at home and especially overnight.
“Tayside Police also advise householders to leave a light on if they are unlikely to be home before dark, or use a timer switch to ensure that the lights come on as dusk falls.
“Tools and ladders and even garden furniture should also be put away and never left out for thieves to steal, or even use to commit crime.”