An Avon & Somerset police spokesman said today: “We have been carrying out targeted patrols in response to an increase in burglary and attempted burglary in the Downend, Mangotsfield and Staple Hill area.
“In each of the 15 reported cases the thief walked into the house through an unlocked rear door while the householder was in another room or just outside the property. The break-ins mostly happened between 8pm and midnight.
“Small items like handbags, wallets, laptops and mobile phones were stolen without anyone realising a stranger had entered their home.
“A 27-year-old man was arrested on Friday 8th August, just over an hour after a burglary was reported in Staple Hill.
“He appeared in court on Monday, charged with a burglary in Staple Hill on 8th August and an attempted burglary in Downend on Saturday 2nd August and has been remanded in custody, pending the next hearing in September.”
Neighbourhoods Inspector Bob Evely said: “It is really important to lock the doors and windows if you’re not in the room. People may think ‘no one will know the back door is unlocked’ – but thieves often target the rear of properties because they’re less likely to be seen by the neighbours.
“These cases also go to show that you can’t be sure you’ll hear a stranger walking into your home.”
Neighbourhood teams have been patrolling the affected areas checking that homes have been left secure and delivering crime prevention advice.