Locksmiths in Yorkshire warn of new method used by burglars to enter homes

Locksmiths have issued an urgent warning about a new method used by burglars to break into homes.

It has been reported that some burglars use blowtorches to weaken door locks and then break them.

Locksmiths are urging people to be aware of this new method and take steps to keep their properties secure.

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According to locksmith Sheffield SheffLOCK, a small blowtorch is used to damage the material around a European lock and doorknob. This is meant to create a hole to reach something through to break the lock.

There has recently been a wave of this method in Greater Manchester, reports from the Manchester Evening News.

Locksmiths L&E Ltd in Manchester has reported several such cases recently.

Company director Elizabeth Johnson warned that the only reason burglars were not entering in some cases was because L&E locksmiths had installed anti-slam locks on the doors to the property.

Elizabeth told MEN: “Once it’s engaged, a snap-resistant lock will still engage the lock, but your door will stay locked.

“This unfortunately means that the lock and door will still be damaged, but intruders will not have access to your home.”

The torch method has been seen before, but locksmiths warn that it has increased recently.

Presenter Rav Wilding appeared on BBC Morning Live this morning to issue a warning about the rise in torch burglaries.

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He said: “We’re actually seeing an increase in that. It’s really quite a dramatic way that criminals are using it to break into homes.

“They use a torch to attack the door. What they are trying to reach is the metal part of the lock on the inside of the door. They are trying to burn the casing on the outside in order to gain access to the metal barrel of the lock.

“That’s what they attack to break it – known as slamming – and then break the lock and get into the house. It’s really quite dramatic and we all need to be aware of that.”

Rav said people who fear they may be vulnerable to this trick should replace their locks with three-star rated locks that are resistant to this method.

He added that some insurers will only insure or give you a discount if you have a three-star lock.

He also suggested CCTV, extra locks and keeping your lock in good repair to deter criminals.

In 2017, a Calderdale couple were left petrified after thieves used this method to break into their Sowerby Bridge home.

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