Police are urging residents to keep their doors and windows locked when they are out in their gardens – to avoid burglars sneaking into their homes.
They are also people to ensure valuables in their gardens are secure or locked away at night.
Andy Robinson, South Yorkshire Police’s crime reduction officer for Rotherham, said: “The starting point for many of the house burglaries in Rotherham has been through an insecure window or door – up to 40 per cent of burglaries have occurred in this way.
“The solution to this problem is simple: never leave windows open and, if you are working outdoors and the house is unoccupied, lock the doors to ensure no-one can sneak in while you are at the bottom of the garden.
“There are offenders in Rotherham who walk around trying door handles, hoping to gain easy, quiet access to a house, and then to steal from within.
“Help us to stop these people by ensuring that if you are at home, you have dropped the latch on your external doors, or secured the door chain.
Also, never leave items such as handbags, wallets, laptops and car keys on open display in unattended rooms.
“We are constantly reminding people to ensure all doors and windows are locked and closed, but many forget their garden security.
“Not only are thieves on the look-out for anything they can steal, such as barbecues, patio furniture, children’s toys, bikes and power tools, but they could also use equipment not stored correctly to access your homes.
“If car keys are left on display, a thief will often use heavy objects found in the garden to smash their way into your property and take the keys and steal the car.”