AFTER a series of reported incidents involving doors being tried by prospective sneak thieves in Benarty, the Cowdenbeath Community Police Team is asking home owners throughout the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area to make sure their doors and windows are secure, even when you may be in the property.

The advice comes as the shorter days at this time of year allows criminals the cover of darkness to attempt to get into homes.

Central Fife Crime Prevention Panel heard on Wednesday that there had been a number of incidents reported of prospective thieves trying doors in the Ballingry-Lochore-Crosshill area.

Community Police team member PC Davide Scola told the panel that there had been a number of incidents of this happening and said that it was important that people kept doors and windows secure.

PC Scola added: "Don't give the thief a chance, keep doors and windows firmly locked."

Panel chairman Dave Roy said: "This is something that is becoming something that is happening regularly with opportunist thieves checking out back doors under cover of darkness if there is no light on in homes.

"If you lave a light on it can deter unwanted visitors."

The Cowdenbeath Community team underline that a few simple measures can help avoid unwanted visitors, think about basic good housekeeping routines that aren’t expensive.

Many thieves are actually opportunists who do not have to break-in at all because a door or window has been left open or unlocked. Keep your home securely locked at all times.

Don’t leave keys on the inside of door locks, under mats or anywhere else an intruder may easily find them.

Don’t keep house keys and car keys on the same key ring.

Avoid keeping large amounts of cash in the house. If you must then disperse it in various locations.

Security mark your property with a UV marker pen. You can use this pen to place an invisible imprint of your postcode and house number on your possessions.