Two homes were burgled in Stevenage yesterday, and officers are treating the incidents as linked.

In both cases, police said, door keys left on display helped the burglars to gain entry.

At some point between 9.30am and 7pm, thieves broke into a property in Durham Road. After smashing a hole in a kitchen window, they were able to open the back door as the key had been left in the lock.

Once inside, they ransacked the home and stole jewellery.

The same day, a house in Old Bourne Way was broken into the same way. This time burglars smashed a hole in the patio doors and were able to open the doors as the keys were in the lock.

Cash, jewellery and a watch were stolen in this incident.

PC Andy Wise, who is investigating, said: “We are keen to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in these areas on Wednesday. At this stage we believe the two burglaries are linked.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to remind people not to leave keys in doors or on display. This makes your property vulnerable and an easy target for burglars. By following a few simple steps you can easily make your home more secure.”

PC Wise gave the following home security tips:

• Ensure doors are double-locked at all times. Keep windows closed and locked and keys out of sight.

• Install ‘dusk to dawn’ external lighting and use timer switches in your home to control internal lights, radios and a simulated TV.

• Keep all keys and valuables secure and out of sight.

• Ensure boundary fences are secure with side gates locked. Keep tools and ladders in a locked shed.

• Join Hertfordshire’s Neighbourhood Watch for alerts and advice:

• Consider installing a door bell camera, internal camera and/or monitored burglar alarm.

• Visit for discounts on security products.

Anyone with information about these two burglaries should call PC Wise on 101, quoting crime reference E1/17/9781, or use the online reporting form here.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.