POLICE have set up ‘sting’ properties in Sheffield in an attempt to catch burglars.
Houses and flats have been fitted with hidden cameras and they have ‘SmartWater’ traps, spraying intruders with an invisible substance that shows up under specialist lighting.
The properties are kitted out like normal homes, with equipment including laptops computers and phones left out on display. Police they are no different to homes across the city where valuables are regularly left visible.
Break-in hotspots, including Endcliffe, the Norfolk Park student village, Parson Cross and Highfield, are being targeted.
Det Chief Insp Zaf Ali said: “These properties look like any run of the mill dwelling - whether it is a student flat or family home - you would be hard pressed to realise that nobody lives in them,” he said.
“Burglars do not have time to carefully examine a room - they have to be in and out as quick as they can. We have taken advantage of advances in covert technology to kit them out in a way which helps us identify offenders.
“We set them up in areas which are suffering from burglaries and we want offenders to realise that these are operating across the city.”
Students are seen as being particularly vulnerable, and a small number of burglars are thought to be responsible for a large number of crimes.