HOMEOWNERS are being warned to keep their homes secure in the hot weather after a spate of burglaries in Southampton.

Four homes in Shirley have been targeted in the last four days as thieves make the most of unlocked doors and open windows.

The latest incident came in the early hours of yesterday morning when thieves got into a flat in Mansel Road West through an unsecure window, taking electrical items as well as a silver Toyota Enigma after finding the car keys in a handbag they stole.

On Friday a handbag was stolen from a home in Lancaster Road after patio doors were left open, while thieves also got into a home in Rosewall Road via an open back door.

In the early hours of Saturday morning a hooded thief entered a home in Palm Road before running off with a purse. Police believe he may have got in by putting his hand through the letterbox on the front door and releasing the handle.

Inspector John McGonigle, from Shirley's Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We just want to remind people to keep their homes secured at all times.

“When you go to bed make sure all your windows and doors are locked and ensure valuables are not within easy reach of windows.”

Other crime prevention tips include putting up net curtains or blinds as they act as good deterrents and prevent people looking inside, always lock the front door when in the back garden and have gravel at the front of your home as it will create a noise when people approach the house.

Homeowners with UPVC doors are also reminded to double lock by lifting the handle and turning the key.

Anyone with information about these should contact Police Staff Investigator Kelly Godden at Shirley police station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.