RESIDENTS are being told to ‘stay vigilant’ following a spate of shed and garage break-ins.

Police have reported a series of incidents in the Parkstone area, with thieves targeting sheds and garages for power tools, bikes, and sports equipment.

Hand tools are also being stolen and used to break into homes, they warned.

Officers are suggesting that residents lock and secure their valuable items, report any suspicious activity, and remain “vigilant”.

Poole Police has issued the following crime prevention advice on social media, using the acronym ‘sheducate'. 

Secure the access to your shed or garage by locking gates and using thorny bushes next to walls and fences.

Have you visibly marked the contents of you shed? Make a note of serial numbers and photograph valuable plants and ornaments.

External security lights which are activated by movement are a useful deterrent.

Doors of shed require attention. Use strong padbars and close shackle padlocks. Up and over garage doors supplied with standard lock fittings should be secure with locks or grilles.

Use coach bolts or non-return screws to secure door hinges.

Chain cycles, mowers, ladders and tools to a strong anchorage point.

Alarms for sheds and garages are available at most DIY stores, catalogue shops and builder’s merchants.

Together we will crack crime, join a neighbourhood watch scheme or sign up for Dorset Alert.

Exactly what insurance cover do you have? Check that your household policy covers you for theft from your garden and outbuildings.”