Burglars are ringing doorbells first to check no-one is home, before breaking in, say police warning of a new crime trend to hit the Bellville area.
Bellville police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Henrietta van Niekerk said residents had in some cases ignored the doorbell and had been caught off guard by the burglars.
“At all times, let your presence at your residence be made known if you are there,” she said, cautioning that surprising a burglar could be dangerous.
The burglars mostly struck during the day, from 9am to 3pm, when the occupants of the homes were at work or school.
They usually forced open the front door to get inside.
“Open windows are frequent targets during summer months,” she said.
April and July are when break-ins frequently take place, according to police data, with October being the most uncommon.
The burglars are usually after cash, electrical appliances, laptops, cellphones and jewellery.
Warrant Officer Van Niekerk encouraged residents to get to know their neighbours and join the neighbourhood watch.
“Keep up on crime trends and spread the word. Knowledge is power. Minimise and reduce opportunities for crime to occur which arise from the routines of everyday life,” she said.