THE homes of elderly people have been targeted by burglars during a string of crimes in a south Oxfordshire village.

Thames Valley Police has received several reports of burglaries in Goring, near Wallingford, in recent months.

In many cases, the residents of these homes were elderly people who had been take into care homes, hospital or were away on holiday.

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Burglars have entered the properties by forcing or smashing windows and doors, with cash and jewellery targeted.

Police are asking neighbours to look after the unoccupied homes of friends and relatives while they are away.

They are also advising homeowners to report any suspicious activity and vehicles online or via the police non-emergency number 101.

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Police have released a list of practical steps residents can take to make their homes more secure:

• Ensure doors and windows are locked, even if you are just out in the garden
• Store house, window and car keys out of reach of windows and your letterbox
• Hide valuables so they can’t be seen from outside
• Mark your valuables with a UV pen or forensic marking kit as this will make it harder for thieves to sell the items
• Register valuables for free on the national property register at and bicycles at
• Trim back hedges and shrubs at the front of your property so that burglars have nowhere to hide
• Always lock sheds and garages to prevent access to tools that could be used to break into your home
• Plant thorny bushes around the perimeter of your garden to deter thieves from climbing in
• Gravel can be laid on driveways, paths and beneath ground floor windows which will make a noise when stood on.