A man got up to investigate after hearing his bedroom door open in the night – and witnessed two burglars running back down the stairs.
An hour earlier a householder just a mile away confronted two intruders who had got into his home through an insecure back door.
Police today urged residents to lock their doors at all times – after a spate of thefts from unsecured properties, particularly around west Sheffield.
Burglars have taken laptops, money and vehicles in five break-ins this week in areas including Broomhill, Hillsborough, Sharrow and Greystones.
At 2.30am on Tuesday a man on Hoole Street, Broomhill, heard his bedroom door open and heard the sound of feet running back downstairs. Two white males were seen fleeing.
An hour earlier, at 1.30am, offenders fled empty-handed from a home on Blair Athol Road, Greystones, after being confronted by the householder.
The pair had got in through an insecure back door. One was slim, black, and aged around 17.
Acting Det Insp Tina Wilson said: “We are seeing a steady increase in burglaries where people have left doors insecure, allowing easy access to burglars and opportunist thieves.
“We want people to get into the habit of locking doors behind them, even if they’re indoors.”
Burglars took money and valuables – as well as a Renault Scenic car and a moped – from a house on Shenstone Road, Hillsborough, in the early hours of Monday. Around the same time, two laptops were stolen from a house on South View Road, Sharrow after the back door was left unlocked.
And a student had £2,000 in cash stolen from their Edward Street accommodation the same day.
The spate follows eight burglaries, mainly in Walkley, overnight on February 13. Four happened because doors were not locked.