POLICE are urging residents to take simple security steps to reduce their chances of being burgled.
Officers are especially trying to reduce the number of distraction burglaries - where offenders pose as officials from gas or water companies to trick their way into homes to steal cash and valuables.
In one such scam in Rotherham, elderly and vulnerable residents have been approached by two or more men calling at their homes and claiming to have previously carried out work on their roofs.
They then asked for access to the residents’ lofts or attics and, while one distracted the occupiers, the other searched for items to steal.
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “If someone calls without an appointment, ask to see their ID and check with their company.
“Look out for strange vehicles outside your home and note any registration numbers of vehicles you think might be suspicious.
“If you do open the door to an uninvited caller, keep the door chain or bar in place.”