RESIDENTS are being put on alert after burglars targeted 33 homes in Southampton.

Between September 25 and December 9 this year key safes were tampered with and a number of keys, cars, wallets and electricals were stolen from properties across the city.

Yesterday Hampshire police confirmed that a 19-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl, both from Southampton, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle in connection with these incidents.

Now residents are being urged to be extra vigilant and make sure their homes are secure.

The force said on each occasion, a key safe was damaged or pulled off the wall and some incidents resulted in entry being gained and items being stolen.

Police said the incidents occurred in Woolston, Sholing, Bitterne and Peartree at night. Officers were also called to Portswood Road over the weekend.

They said a key safe fixed to Cupid House was removed and the key was stolen between 7.30pm on December 8 and 9.30am on December 9 but there was no attempt to gain entry.

Now Hampshire police are urging residents to be extra vigilant.

A spokesman for the force said: “Key safes are generally a reassurance, and not a concern, however we are worried that key safes fixed on walls next to front doors are more likely to be targeted. Consider relocating the key safe to somewhere less obvious and contact the company that makes your key safe and ask how it can be made more secure.”

He added: “We understand that key safes are vital for some people in the community, however some of us might have them as a helpful back-up system for when we or members of our family lose keys. Consider taking the key out when you know you won’t need it.”

Royston Smith, MP for Southampton Itchen, said: “These burglary figures are shocking. The sort of people who carry it out have no regard for the trauma they put their victims through.”

Witnesses are urged to call 101.