A locksmith has warned of a new technique criminals are using to burgle people’s homes. Several cases of burglars using a specific tool to snap open locks have been reported in the north of England.
Burglars in Greater Manchester are using blowtorches to break into houses, it has been reported.
Manchester locksmith company Locksmith L&E Ltd has seen multiple cases of burglars blowtorching and snapping locks.
This is a new technique using an unexpected tool that has rarely been seen before, according to the locksmith.
L&E’s company director, Elizabeth Johns, want Britons to be aware of the new method, following an attempted burglary at a customer’s property.
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The company director continued: “The reason intruders use blowtorches is that they are trying to remove the handle from around it, so they can get a good grip on the lock to then snap it.
“On standard locks, once the lock snaps, the door will open.
“So, it’s all about gaining access to try and get a good grip on that lock.”
Elizabeth recommended that homeowners buy a snap-resistant lock so that even if burglars use the blowtorch method, they won’t then be able to open the door.
She said: “Once it’s snapped, a snap-resistant lock will still snap the lock, but your door will remain locked.
“It means unfortunately, the lock and the door will still be damaged, but the intruders won’t have gained access to your home.
“I think people don’t understand until it happens to them.
“And it’s quite frustrating for us, because we say, ‘look, everybody needs to have these locks installed’.”
Elizabeth added: “As you can see from this case with our customer, it does happen, and it does happen a lot, unfortunately.”
To further prevent burglaries, the locksmith urged people to make sure their locks are the correct sizes for their doors.
She said: “A lot of the time, people have tried to install locks themselves.
“So, you’ll see a lock that’s too big for the door, which means it’s sticking out.
“Which means it gives intruders easy access to snap it out without even taking the handle off.
“It’s like Christmas Day for a thief if they see a lock that’s too big – they will target locks like that.”
Homeowners can buy a snap-resistant lock online or at any locksmith store.