NELSON Mandela Bay police have warned residents to be extra vigilant as the September school holidays approach, as they expect an increase in house burglaries and theft.
Police spokesman Captain Stanley Jarvis said there had been a noted increase in the two crimes during the holidays.
He said usually residents left their homes vacant while they were away and had no measures in place to deter criminals.
Jarvis said criminals often posed as students who infiltrated neighbourhoods they planned to target.
"We have noticed that known criminals attend house parties held at high school pupils', university and technikon students' homes and even though they are not known to the students they blend in.
"They then mingle with the party-goers and students while casing out the surrounding houses and the neighbourhood," he said.
Residents could protect their properties by:
- Asking friends to visit the house and collect mail as opportunistic criminals use this to determine whether anybody is home;
- Setting alarms – when leaving home and going to bed at night; and
- Ensuring all windows are closed and locked.