POLICE have renewed their warnings about locking doors after three homes were burgled in Newton Aycliffe while the owners were asleep.

In each case thieves entered the homes though unlocked rear doors in what police are calling “sneak-in burglaries”.

Martin Peace, Neighbourhood Inspector for Bishop Auckland, said: “There are people going around trying door handles, if they find them unlocked they will enter the property and take what they can.

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“I would urge people to make sure their homes are properly secured.”

Some time between 11pm on Thursday, March 27, and 6am on Friday, March 28, thieves climbed over a three foot fence and entered though the rear door of a home on Wallas Road.

They searched the kitchen and stole a white Ipad mini and several hundred cigarettes with police saying the total value of the burglary was close to £500.

And at some point between 1am and 7am on Saturday (March 29), burglars entered the rear of a home in Stephenson Way and stole a handbag.

Some time between 5am and 7am the same day bank cards were taken from a handbag in a house on Carileph Close after thieves again entered through an unlocked rear door.

Anyone with information on the burglaries or who saw anybody acting suspiciously in the area is asked to contact Durham Police on 101.