Residents in Washington are being urged to take steps to beat the burglar as a Northumbria Police campaign continues.
The message comes as part of the force wide campaign Operation Soundwave, a force wide initiative targeting opportunist thieves and burglars.
Police have received reports of burglaries in the Albany and Blackfell areas and while extra patrols are taking place in areas where offences have taken place police are urging residents to make sure windows and doors are locked and keys are not left in the back of doors.
Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Stewart said: "While activity continues across the force to deter and target thieves it's important residents take steps to help prevent themselves from becoming a victim of burglary.
"With the onset of lighter nights thieves will be looking to take advantage of the fact more people may leave doors and windows open as the weather starts to warm up.
"But this does present an open invitation to thieves. It can only take a second for a thief to come through an open window or door which will be all the more attractive to them if small, easily taken items are left on show, such as a laptop, jewellery or keys left on a bench or window sill.
"Sometimes the costs can run even higher if car keys are stolen with thieves making off in the vehicle. By taking a few minutes to make sure property is secure it can save a lot of anger and frustration."
Residents are urged to take simple steps such as locking doors, even when in another part of the house or garden, and investing in a timer switch for later in the night when it gets dark.
As part of Operation Soundwave police are also encouraging people to register valuable items on the national property register database Immobilise - www.immobilise.com.
Residents are also urged to continue to report suspicious activity to police.
People can contact police on 101, extension 69191 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, to report a crime ongoing dial 999.