Summertime advice on how to protect from burglaries
Gardai in Co Wicklow are advising householders to remain extra vigilant over the summer period and to take extra precautions to protect their property following a number of recent break-ins.
In home break-ins, cash and jewellery are the most frequently stolen items while bicycles, power tools, ride-on lawn mowers and trailers are the most common items stolen from sheds.
At this time of year, thieves can be on the lookout for vacant properties with owners away on their summer holidays.
Superintendent Paul Hogan has offered a number of crime prevention tips to help people improve security around their home and outbuildings.
'With people away on holidays some houses can be more vulnerable than usual - have a neighbour keep an eye out for suspicious activity and report any to gardaí,' said Superintendent Hogan. 'All householders are asked to review their own security measures to make it is difficult as possible for burglars to break into your property.'
The likes of ladders and tools should be safely stored away rather than being left in the garden. Meanwhile, quality locks should be used on garden sheds and valuable property such as tools and bikes should be chained up inside. It's also advisable for people to mark their property and photograph any valuable possessions.
Meanwhile, tidying up gardens and shrubbery both improves visibility and creates the illusion of an occupied home. Householders are also asked to consider planting thorny plants around their property for extra security.
'A barrier of prickly hedge along your boundary or underneath a window will help deter thieves,' said Superintendent Hogan. 'Hedges and shrubs in the front garden should be kept to a height of no more than three feet in order to avoid giving a burglar a screen behind which they can hide.'