Police Officers say the case of a man who is beginning a lengthy prison for burgling 32 homes in Crewe underlines their "Lock your doors" warning.
All the burglaries carried out by Stephen Crimes were sneak-ins. He simply walked into the houses through unlocked doors.
Crimes, aged 36, was jailed for four years and three months by a judge at Chester Crown Court. He had pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary and asked for thirty similar offences, plus one offence of stealing from a car, to be taken into consideration.
All the burglaries were committed while Crimes was staying with various friends and acquaintances in Crewe. He had a home address in Tatton Close, Winsford.
Detective Constable Darren Hebden said, "In all these cases he simply walked into the house and took items he could carry easily, such as laptops, mobile phones, ipods, cash and cards.
"He specialised in the sneak-in burglary and he is not the only criminal doing that. Currently a third of all burglaries in this area are carried out by people who wander the streets and nip into people's gardens trying doors until they find one that is unlocked. In most cases the occupiers will be in bed, but even if they are in another room downstairs the burglar will take what he can and make a quick exit.
"We can only repeat our warning about this and encourage people to get into the habit of keeping doors and ground floor windows locked at all times. A check-round before you go to bed is vital, too. Crime prevention doesn't get much simpler than that!
"The sentence on Stephen Crimes means that a professional criminal with a long record will be removed from the streets for some time. The courts, like Cheshire Police, take burglary very seriously and only the fact that he was frank about the offences he had committed saved him from an even longer sentence.
"We and the rest of the Criminal Justice System are doing a lot of work to protect people's homes from burglars, but the responsibility does not stop there. Everyone has a duty to take reasonable precautions to protect their home."