Households are being urged to be aware of a shocking new way burglars are now attempting to break into homes.
Manchester evening news reports that criminals with blowtorches try to gain access to properties by picking the locks on doors.
A Manchester-based locksmith firm said it had seen several instances of burglaries involving the use of blowtorches.
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Elizabeth Johns, a director Locksmith L&E now urges homeowners to be aware of the trend.
Mrs. Johns tells MEN: “The reason burglars use blowtorches is so they try to remove the handle around them so they can get a good grip on the lock and then break it open.
“With standard locks, the door opens as soon as the lock engages.
“So it’s about getting access to try and get a good grip on the lock.”
Latch locks would not allow burglars to open your doors.
She explained: “Once it’s engaged, a snap-proof lock will still snap the lock, but Your door remains locked.
“Unfortunately, it means that the lock and door are still damaged, but the intruders have not been able to gain access to your home. I think people don’t understand it until it happens to them.
“And it’s quite frustrating for us because we’re like, ‘Look, everyone has to have these locks installed.’
Ms Johns added that people should check their locks are the right size for their doors.
She added: “Often times people have tried to install locks themselves. So you’ll see a lock that’s too big for the door, which means it’s sticking out.
“This means it gives burglars easy access to pry it out without having to remove the handle.
“It’s like Christmas Day for a thief to see a lock that’s too big – he’ll go for locks like that.”
A snap-proof lock has prevented burglars from entering the home of one of the locksmith’s clients.
The customer and her family woke up one morning in December to find their door lock burned and badly damaged.
The customer, who asked not to be named, said: “It was a few days before Christmas, around 5am, my family and I were sleeping at home.
“We heard a noise so we went downstairs and turned on the light but we didn’t see anyone in the house so we went back to bed.
“It wasn’t until the next morning that my husband put the keys in the door and half the barrel came out with it.
“So we were like, ‘Oh, this isn’t normal.’
“That’s when we realized what had happened. If we hadn’t installed the burglar-proof lock, the thieves would have 100% gotten into the house.” “
The door had to be replaced at a cost of around £500. The customer added that a few weeks before the attempted burglary, her house was marked with a paving stone on the outside.
Ms Johns advises putting snap-proof locks on all doors and always looking for markings left outside your home to target thieves at houses – like “sidewalk slabs, triangle or circle symbols, or kidney beans on doorsteps”.
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