Residents in the north of Plymouth are being warned to be extra vigilant following a series of house burglaries.
Detectives are linking 19 house breaks in Leigham, Crownwhill, Hartley, Mannamead, Eggbuckland, Pennycross and Efford.
The spree began in April but has gained momentum in recent weeks and detectives believe the offender is targeting houses when the occupier goes on holiday.
“There is plenty a householder can do to secure their homes against burglary,” said Detective Chief Inspector Jim Colwell, who is leading the investigation.
“Most burglars are opportunist, entering properties through open windows or doors and there is extensive advice about how to secure a house via the Force website, www.devon-cornwall.police.uk
“In this case we believe the thief is targeting homes when the residents are on holiday.
“We would advise anyone about to leave their home empty for any length of time to ask someone to keep an eye on their house, collect or move mail out of sight, open and close curtains and put dustbins out at collection time.
“They should also consider investing in automatic time switches to come on in certain rooms and, if they have a driveway, ask a neighbour us it while they are away.
“Local policing team contact details are also available via the website and officers will also be able to give advice and inform householders if a neighbourhood watch operates in their area.”