A rise in sneak-in burglaries across Wakefield and Castleford has prompted a new police drive to target offenders in the district.
Wakefield Police are asking people to help them 'bust a burglar' as they launch a series of operations to stop the increase in thefts.
Detectives say sneak-in offences, when burglars enter properties through unlocked doors and windows and steal portable items including laptops, clothing and wallets, have become increasingly common in recent weeks.
And officers have also recorded several offences of burglars targeting sheds and outbuildings to steal bicycles and tools.
Detective Chief Inspector Sue Jenkinson of Wakefield District CID, said: “We have recently seen an increase in residential burglary offences in which suspects have either broken into homes or outbuildings on properties, such as garden sheds and garages.
“Any form of break in at a property can cause real distress to victims, and we are determined to address this recent increase in parts of the district.
“Officers will be conducting operations in Wakefield, Castleford, Pontefract and elsewhere and what I am asking for is information from residents to help support our activities.
“As a number of these offences are opportunist there is a good chance they will have been committed by persons living in some of the affected communities.
"I would ask anyone who has information about thieves living in their neighbourhoods to come forward.”
Wakefield CID has also issued advice to help people protect themselves from the burglars.
Detective Inspector Dave Watts said: “Wakefield in particular appears to have had a real issue with these offences which can take place in less than half a minute.
“Sneak in offences can obviously be so easily prevented and we would really strongly urge people to make sure you keep unattended doors and windows locked to help you keep your goods safer.
“Also, even little things such as not leaving bags or valuable goods on show near doors and keeping keys out of view can make a real difference."
Reports or information about burglars can be made to Wakefield District CID on 101 or in complete anonymity to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 55 111.