POLICE have warned families not to give their Christmas presents away to burglars by leaving their homes and cars unlocked.
Half the burglaries committed in the city this week were at houses with insecure doors and windows, Supt Pat Casserly revealed.
He urged people not to give criminals an easy time over the festive period.
Supt Casserly, of Wakefield Division, said: “We don’t want people to become victims. It’s about taking that little bit of extra responsibility for themselves.
“At Christmas time everyone is busy and they might be a little more careless. Burglars know there are rich pickings to be had with Christmas presents in most houses.
“The thing that is frustrating is on a daily basis in almost 50 per cent of the burglaries the properties are insecure.
“Opportunist criminals don’t have to be particularly good quality burglars to simply try a lot of doors and they end up getting in.”
He warned people not to buy gifts such as computer games consoles and MP3 players at discount prices in pubs as they are likely to have been stolen.
Plain clothes police officers have also been deployed around the city centre to stop pick pockets targeting Christmas shoppers.
Supt Casserly said: “People are walking around with their arms full of bags. They need to make sure they know where their wallets, mobile phones and car keys are.”
Car crime is also a concern right across the city.
In Horbury five cars were burgled in the same street - after their owners left them unlocked.
Burglars struck overnight between Monday and Tuesday on Hall Cliffe Crescent.
Anyone with information should contact Wakefield CID on 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.