Prolific burglars in Chorley are being targeted by police after a spike in break-ins.
As part of a month-long crackdown officers have already made a series of arrests and executed a number of search warrants on homes across Chorley.
Chorley Insp Steve Evans: “I don’t want to worry people. The number of burlaries in December amounted to about four a week but one is one too many as far as I’m concerned.
“I understand how upsetting it is for homeowners. We’re talking about people’s home and we’re doing all that we can to catch those responsible.”
He said the burglaries had been at addresses across Chorley, including in Great Knowley, Dorking Road, Harpers Lane, Highfield Road and Buckshaw Village.
Many of the houses were burgled while the owners were away for Christmas.
Insp Evans said statistics suggested that the afternoon, early evening and overnight tended to be the most vulnerable times for burglaries but said owners needed to be vigilant at all time.
“We’ve detected around seven of the crimes and we’ve also carried out a number of warrants as we try and recover stolen property,” he said.
“Our message to burglars in the area is that we know who they are and if they continue to commit crime, they will be targeted.
“Burglary can have a massive impact on victims – it can be very emotive and distressing.
“In December we found people had been away over the Christmas period and returned home to find their home had been broken into and items taken. This is simply unacceptable and this operation is about us taking action against those who commit such crime.”
The action comes as part of Operation Crackdown – a high-profile campaign which will run throughout the month with the aim of reducing burglaries.
Officers will also be holding events at supermarkets and other key locations to remind residents of crime prevention advice they can follow to help prevent them from becoming a victim.
Insp Evans added: “I would urge residents to follow basic crime prevention advice and make it as difficult as possible for burglars.
“Residents should be checking they lock their doors and windows at all times – we find that many burglaries happen as a result of people leaving properties insecure.”