RESIDENTS are being urged to keep their doors and windows secure after a spate of two-in-one burglaries.

The majority of these burglaries have taken place in the early hours of the morning and entry has mainly been gained through insecure doors before removing keys and stealing vehicles.

Throughout December there were 19 incidents in the Cleveland Police force area, compared to only eight in December 2016, ten occurred in the Middlesbrough area, four in Stockton, three in Redcar & Cleveland and two in Hartlepool.

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Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Chris Barker said: "In order to help prevent these incidents from happening, and help prevent more people becoming victims of crime, we’d like to remind people to keep their windows and doors secure and to remove vehicle keys from sight and from hallways, where they are easily accessible to thieves. Vehicles are often one of people’s most valuable possessions and insurance companies may not pay out if a vehicle is stolen due to a property being insecure.”