POLICE have warned Wrexham residents to be on their guard against opportunist thieves stealing expensive presents from their homes immediately after Christmas.

Sgt Ian Massie, the officer who works closely with the borough’s community safety partnership, said that while he had been advising residents to take steps to secure their homes and vehicles before the big day, they were just as much at risk right after December 25.

He said in the weeks leading up to Christmas there had been a number of thefts due to people leaving presents on display in their cars or around the tree at home.

“But people should be even more vigilant after Christmas because they will have a lot of new presents in their home.

“They have been buying i-pods, computers and new TV sets, which are all very expensive, and they will all be at risk from theft.

“People are also likely to be buying new goods in the sales before the VAT goes up on January 1 and these need protecting too.

“Thieves are good at spotting opportunities like this. We would advise everyone to have all these items security marked just in case.”

He added: “This kind of theft always increases at this time of year and we would appeal to people not to leave their goods on open display.

“Some people leave all their presents around the Christmas tree with the lights on all night, which can be an invitation to thieves. Apart from anything else, leaving the lights on is a fire risk.

“We also know that thieves go out at night trying the doors of houses to see if they have been left open. And if they find one open all they have to do is pop in.”