POLICE have warned ‘professional’ criminals could be responsible for the recent spate of burglaries in the town.

DI Matt Durcan, from Cheshire Police, is urging residents to keep homes safe, as more burglaries were reported this week.

He said an increase in break-ins was typical for this time of year.

DI Durcan said: “It is to some extent seasonal, the type of burglaries you get as the nights close in.

“What we tend to get across the area are proficient, professional burglars who cone out of the woodwork and target houses that are dark.

“They are not opportunists, and are difficult to catch, but we have put resources into it.”

Numerous burglaries have been reported in Warrington over the last week, the latest on Tuesday at a home on Delenty Drive, Padgate.

Police were called at 4.55am to find a rear door had been forced and iPad stolen.

On Sunday night, a house on Winwick Park Avenue was raided with car keys, and a car stolen.

Police say they have since recovered the vehicle.

Four break-ins were also reported over the weekend on Cleveland Road and Small Avenue in Orford, Cooper Avenue in Longford and Fearnhead Lane in Padgate.

There have been more than 30 reported in the town this month, and 60 in December, according to officers.

DI Durcan has investigated burglaries in the area for 18 years.

He is calling for homeowners to increase security as much as possible and warned bikes in sheds are also a popular target.

Security lights that detect movement, alarms and interior lights with timers are strongly recommended.

“We need people to be as vigilant as they can,” said the detective inspector.

“We want them to be like old fashioned nosy neighbours and keep an eye out on homes around you.

“When I walk around Warrington South at night it’s strikingly obvious which properties are unoccupied because they are in total darkness.

“That’s an invitation to some people who think it’s their divine right when you’re out doing your job to come into your home.”

Anyone with information on burglaries can call police on 101.

For safety advice, go to cheshire.police.uk.