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Police in Northants say unless you do something about keeping your house secure - all those new goodies you've got at Christmas - could be just waiting to be ending up in a burglar's swag-bag.
Whether it’s a new laptop or tablet, the latest mobile phone or computer game, or a unique piece of jewellery, many people will have something new and special they don’t want to lose.
Paul Golley, Crime Prevention Manager for Northamptonshire Police is encouraging them to make sure valuable items can be identified in some way to make them more difficult for thieves to sell on.
"Marking property can act as a deterrent to would-be thieves or people who deal in stolen goods, as it makes it easier to identify the property as stolen if they are found in possession of it.
There are a number of security devices and marker systems on the market that can personalise property, such as forensic marking type products that have a special code unique to the owner, allowing property to be easily identified.
However, simply taking a few minutes to write your name and postcode on valuable property with an ultra violet pen can help police return the goods you if you are unfortunate enough to be burgled. It’s a good idea to take a photograph of valuable property too and log any serial numbers, keeping them in a safe place.
It’s also worth taking a few minutes to register your property on the free national property register www.immobilise.com. This will help police return your items if they are stolen and later recovered.
And if your next recycling collection isn’t immediately after Christmas, be careful about leaving gift packaging and boxes outside or sticking out of your bin. Thieves will notice boxes for branded products like laptops, TVs or accessories, which could indicate an expensive piece of kit somewhere in the house.
The safest thing to do is to break down any cardboard boxes or fold them inside out so that you cannot see the branding. You can then store them out of sight inside your home until collection day or take them to your local recycling site."
For more crime prevention information and advice, visit www.northants.police/crimeprevention.