POLICE have warned residents to be vigilant about the security of their homes, vehicles and businesses after a spate of burglaries in the New England.
Seventeen homes and vehicles have been broken into since Friday in Armidale.
"Criminals look for easy targets, even the most simple security measures can reduce the opportunity for crime," she said.
"Even if you are home or just in the backyard, lock up and put valuables out of sight.
"Thieves don't generally go out of their way looking for targets, but if the easy opportunity is there, they will take it.
"The open window with a wallet, phone, or sunglasses in easy view is an open invitation for a likely offender."
Anyone who has lost a wallet or had one stolen knows that cancelling and renewing credit cards, licences, and phone plans is a huge inconvenience. Often, thieves will have used credit cards before the owner can report them stolen.
Inspector Joy urged residents to contact police at the first opportunity.
"If you see people in your neighbourhood who seem outside the norm, call us immediately," she said.
"Don't wait to be asked if you've seen something. If you witness suspicious looking activity, hear smashing glass or alarms sounding, report it immediately.
"Put yourself in your neighbour's shoes, and ask yourself what you hope someone would do for you."
Anyone with information about criminal activity is urged to contact Armidale Police Station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.