OPPORTUNIST thieves have raided nine homes within a month in a spate of burglaries targeting unsecured garages and back doors.

Wiltshire Police are appealing for information following the series of burglaries in Royal Wootton Bassett , with officers investigating the possibility they may be linked.

The culprits have often struck during the night when people have been asleep, sneaking in through unsecured garages and patio doors before making off with purses, cash, handbags and bicycles.

There has also been a spate of six burlgaries in Malmesbury, which have taken place during the daytime when most people would be at work, and the size of the items taken means a vehicle is likely to be involved.

Officers have arrested one woman from Swindon, who has since been released on bail, and are asking residents to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

Sgt Martin Alvis, of the Royal Wootton Bassett Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We don’t want people to feel unsafe in their own homes and urge them to lock their doors before they go to bed.

“I will stress there has been no attempt to go into bedrooms. The offenders have just taken whatever has been on show in the kitchen or dining room areas.

“We are working closely with our colleagues from the proactive burglary team to identify those responsible for the burglaries and have been conducting additional late-night patrols to deter further break-ins.

“We have also had a few people reporting they heard noises in the night but have not called us. If people do so immediately we will be able to react quickly and perhaps catch the suspect.

“Anyone with information is asked to call us on 101 but if you see suspicious activity please contact us immediately on 999.”

Officers have issued some basic security precautions: l Ensure all windows and doors are secure.

l Ensure any house alarms are properly activated while you are out.

l Label your postcode on high value items with a UV marker.

l Photograph any distinctive items and keep records of serial numbers.

Anyone with information can contact the Neighbourhood Policing Team at Royal Wootton Bassett Police Station.

Alternatively, information can be left with the Proactive Crime Team at Gablecross Police Station by calling Wiltshire Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.