Police are urging residents to be vigilant and report suspicious behaviour following a recent increase in burglary in rural parts of Wakefield.
Wakefield District CID would like to speak to anyone who has information about a recent series of burglaries in the Crigglestone, Kettleworth, Durkar, Newmillerdam and Sandal areas between Christmas and New Year.
The offences have included house break-ins, shed break-ins and several car thefts from properties and have been characterised by the opportunist nature of the offences.
Vehicles taken have included a Seat Ibiza, a Ford Fiesta, Mini One and a Suzuki SX4. Officers have recovered some of the cars seized.
Other items taken have included push bikes from a garden, stolen credit cards, handbags, alcohol and cash.
Suspects identified in a number of the cases appear to be two or three males in their late teens dressed in dark clothing with hoods up.
Police have been carrying out targeted patrols in affected areas and detectives are carrying out a range of enquiries.
Buildings affected have included houses and properties protected by older Europrofile locks and sheds secured with padlocks.
Detective Inspector Sam Freeman of Wakefield District CID, said: “We are investigating a recent increase in burglaries in the Wakefield Rural area and are working with colleagues to increase patrols and target resources in those areas.
“These offences have been characterized by their opportunist nature and we do believe they are being committed by younger suspects who are seeking targets of opportunity rather than by an organized gang targeting specific homes or certain kinds of high value vehicles.
“They are taking place in the hours of darkness from late evenings up to the early hours of the mornings.
“I would ask anyone who spots a small group of unknown males behaving suspiciously on their streets, perhaps as they are coming home from work or coming in later in the evenings to contact the police.”
She added: “As we investigate these offences we would ask residents to check their security and make sure, houses outbuildings and cars are secured at night.
“If you have a UPVC door please also check to see if your lock it meets the latest TS 007 or Sold Secure Diamond Standard for lock cylinders.
“Older Europfile locks can be vulnerable and can be upgraded relatively inexpensively.
“See more information at https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/euro-cylinder-advice"
Anyone who has information can contact Wakefield CID on 101 or the independent Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.