A locksmith has issued a warning over a “new trick” which he claims is being used by burglars to break into homes.
The technique takes seconds and involves placing a magnet or another flag object which can be stuck across the bolt of a door while it is unlocked, preventing it from working later so burglars can enter the home.
Lynton Christian, a locksmith from Wirral, said the technique has been used on multiple properties in the area and warned residents to stay vigilant.
He told the Liverpool Echo that the trick relies on people not looking into why their door is not locking correctly, and not fixing the issue until it is too late and burglars have already targeted their home.
Mr Christian said he had seen a case of a small, strong magnet placed on the bolt-hole of a door while the homeowner had left the door ajar briefly.
“I didn’t think this was actually a thing at first,” he told the Liverpool Echo. “But I’ve seen it happen, or almost happen, twice to the same shop and another case with a guy who was in the house all day. Which is shocking.
“They must’ve hopped over his back gate, quickly threw a magnet on his open back door. Then if he hadn’t have spotted the magnet, he would’ve probably just thought his lock was faulty.
“That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to make people aware. A lot of people will just want to call the locksmith in the morning for the lock that seems broken, leaving them at risk overnight.
“I think it’s now an upcoming thing. I think criminals are just trying to find new tricks.”
Mr Christian warned people to be vigilant, adding:“If your lock’s off and you don’t stop, look and check where the bolt goes in then there’s a chance that people could be burgled, that same night even.”