PARTS of Baildon and Saltaire have been hit by a wave of burglaries and garden thefts.

Across the weekend five nearby properties in Baildon were targeted, including one crime at Honey Pot Drive where thieves unscrewed the door handle of UPVC French doors, removed the lock and walked out with a safe from the master bedroom.

In Laddersbank Lane a garden shed door was forced open and electrical garden tools stolen and in Fyfe Grove a garage was entered from an unlocked door and bicycles taken.

Another shed was broken into in Southcliffe Drive and the owner's garden shears used to cut through a cable which fixed two bicycles to a ladder, before one was stolen.

A crow bar was used to prise open a garage door in Woodcot Avenue, but the would-be thieves left empty-handed.

Neighbourhood police in Saltaire have also reported how the World Heritage Site has recently suffered a rash of thefts from gardens in which ornaments, furniture and tools have been taken.

Baildon ward councillor Debbie Davies (Con) said while the emphasis was often on prevention, greater deterrents were the only way to stop habitual criminals.

"I know the police are doing their best to increase patrols and present a higher profile in the area.

"But recently I met a hardened shoplifter from Shipley who told me she only stopped years of stealing after getting the ultimatum of 'do it again and you go to jail and lose your kids.'

"Sadly, that's what it seems to take to stop such people and those responsible for last weekend's thefts in Baildon are clearly doing it professionally," Cllr Davies said.

Sergeant Nick Everingham, of the Shipley Neighbourhood Area Team, said: "We would ask all residents to be vigilant and to either store or secure garden furniture when it is not being used.

"We would also ask people to make sure their sheds and outbuildings are secure, as the summer months typically see an increase in this type of crime.

"You can also use an ultra-violet pen to mark expensive items, such as garden furniture, bicycles and lawnmowers, with your postcode or house name and number. This will help police to trace these items back to the owner when they are recovered.

"For more information on protecting your garden and outbuildings from thieves, go to the Help and Advice section on the West Yorkshire Police website or contact your local area neighbourhood team."