Burglaries have soared in South Ayrshire by nearly a third over recent months – with roaming criminals sneaking into homes.
There were 107 housebreakings between April 1 and July 31 – up 30 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Between that time, there were 16 housebreakings in the Maybole North, Carrick and Cumnock ward, and 16 in Girvan and South Carrick.
South Ayrshire police Chief Inspector Brian Anderson has warned home owners to keep their windows shut after a number of thieves secured entry through them.
The area commander said travelling criminals had targeted homes in certain areas.
He said: “Windows were left open during the summer period. It was a common approach for some of the housebreakings.”
Speaking at the South Ayrshire Council Partnerships Panel last week, he told councillors the police force was running an action plan to tackle the problem.
A crime report said: “Although housebreaking is below the five year average, there has been a clear rise in such crimes this year compared to the last two years, particularly for domestic housebreakings.”
It added: “Further action plans have commenced and will focus on known offenders and areas of vulnerability.”
Crime has shot up by nine per cent overall – with 3,454 offences taking place.
Ayrshire Chief Superintendent Mark Hargreaves said: “We are looking at a mixed picture across the board.”
He said police proactivity has led to more detections of certain crimes – such as drugs offences. There has been a 23 per cent rise in domestic abuse cases – with 243 crimes recorded between April 1 and July 31.
Chief Superintendent Hargreaves said people have increasing confidence to report domestic abuse.
Police recorded 76 sexual crimes, down six per cent. Overall violent crime fell to 407 cases – down by one per cent. Disorder complaints numbered 1,835 – down seven per cent.