Mid Ulster Sinn Féin councillor, Peter Bateson has warned residents living in the Newbridge and Broagh areas of Castledawson to be extra vigilant following reports of recent burglaries and thefts from homes.
"It has been brought to my attention that there has been a spate of burglaries and thefts from homes in the Newbridge and Broagh areas," he said. "I wish to take this opportunity to warn everyone living in the area and adjoining districts not to make it easy for opportunist thieves.
"Given that we are continuing to enjoy warm sunshine and we are spending more time in our gardens we need to be careful not to be leaving garden sheds and garages vulnerable. We know that it is not unusual to see a spike in rural crime, especially burglaries of sheds and outbuildings, in the summer months.
"Tools, bicycles and gardening equipment are stowed away in garages and in sheds and thieves know these sorts of locations are rarely as secure as the homes to which they belong."
Councillor Bateson added: "Photographs of valuables need to be taken and all unique serial numbers need to be recorded, so stolen items can be traced back to you if found. If you have an alarm you need to ensure that it is activated as well as making sure that CCTV is of good quality and set up to record."