Criminal gangs are scanning social media and property websites in order to find potential burglary targets, police have warned.
Homeowners selling their houses or advertising goods on websites such as eBay have been told thieves are monitoring the internet on the lookout for anything on display in the background of pictures, such as jewellery or electronics.
They are being urged to think twice about what they post online – even being told an expensive car in the driveway could make them a target.
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John Terry was targeted by burglars after he told his social media followers he was enjoying a ski trip abroad. Police are warning other homeowners not to fall into the same trap
Terry’s Surrey mansion was targeted in the raid after he had posted images from inside the luxury house on social media
Superintendent Sean Wilson, from the Met Police, told the Evening Standard: ‘There needs to be much more care taken about what people put on websites when they are advertising things for sale.
‘If you have gold or an expensive car in the driveway, people will lock on to that.
‘Criminal burglary gangs are well organised, we do see opportunistic burglaries, but a lot of burglary is organised, criminals work in teams and look on the internet.’
The warning comes as figures revealed break-ins in London had shot up by 13 per cent in the previous 12 months to the end of September.
Police have warned that burglary gangs are scanning social media to find targets. Footballer John Terry was raided after posting pictures of his house online
And Scotland Yard had previously said they will no longer be investigating low-level burglaries if they do not believe it is possible to identify a suspect.
A number of high-profile celebrities have fallen prey to burglars after alerting thieves through social media posts.
Former England captain John Terry saw £400,000 worth of designer bags and jewellery stolen from his Surrey mansion after boasting to his 3.4 million Instagram followers that he was enjoying a ski trip abroad with his family.
Kim Kardashian was targeted by robbers in Paris after she posed with her £3.5million engagement ring online.