POLICE are warning Baildon and Shipley residents to lock up sheds and garages after a spate of raids in which tools have been taken and then used to break into homes.

The seasonal crime wave began last month and in a typical incident a night-time burglar first entered the unlocked garage of a house on Baildon Road, stole a chisel and then used that to try and lever open the property’s rear patio doors.

That attempt failed, but on the same night in Fyfe Grove, Baildon, suspects used mole-grips to snap off a lock and get into a house before being scared off by the occupants.

Again on that night, the same method was used to snap patio door locks and gain entry to a house in Threshfield, Shipley. That home was searched and property taken.

Patio doors on a conservatory door at a property in Westmoor Avenue, Baildon, were also forced open during the same 24 hours, but nothing was taken.

The most recent burglary happened overnight between 11.30pm on Friday and 9am on Saturday, when French doors to a rear garden were forced, and car keys taken from a kitchen worktop used to steal a Volkswagen.

Similarly, a car was stolen from Woodbottom Close, Baildon, days earlier after a house window was forced and keys taken. And property was taken from an unlocked car was burgled in Roundwood Avenue, Baildon, on Sunday night. Other recent crimes include a sat nav and power tools being stolen from a car parked in a house’s garage in Brook Hill where an up-and-over door was forced.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “We are aware of a recent spate in shed and garage burglaries in the Baildon and Shipley area and would ask people to make sure their outbuildings are locked and secure.”

Baildon Town Councillor Peter Ashton said: “Lock things up – don’t make it easy for them.”

Ward Councillor Debbie Davies (Con, Baildon) added: “Thieves often use tools they find rather than carry them around. There needs to be tougher sentences for the guilty.”