Police chiefs in South Yorkshire are urging residents to keep their doors and windows locked in the run up to Christmas - to avoid burglars targeting them for presents under the tree.
They claim one in four break-ins happen because homes are left insecure.
Superintendent Scott Green said: “Burglary is an incredibly intrusive crime that can leave the victim devastated and afraid to be in their own home.
“By keeping doors and windows locked, even when you are in the home, and removing valuables from view, you are protecting yourself and your property from opportunistic thieves who will not think twice about entering your home if they discover a door unlocked or see car keys on the windowsill.
“In the run up to Christmas thieves will relish the opportunity to sneak in and steal gifts that are sat under the Christmas tree, and even after Christmas, ensure you dispose of empty boxes and rubbish discreetly, as this is a clear sign to burglars that you have new and valuable items in your home.
“Keep your property secure and don’t give criminals the chance to ruin what should be an enjoyable time to spend with family and friends; do not give them an open invitation to your home.”
The force are urging residents to use light timers to give the impression someone is home when properties are empty.
Visit www.southyorks.police.uk/noinvitenoentry for crime prevention advice.