BURGLARS have been using BLOW TORCHES in Rubery break-ins to try to gain access to homes unheard.

Police have issued a pre-Christmas warning over what they term as a 'new tactic' after several attempted burglaries within a few minutes of each other.

The incidents happened in the early hours of Wednesday, December 18.

Firstly, between 3.50am and 3.57am, three offenders were seen in a silver/grey Ford Focus attempting to gain entry to houses in New Inns Lane.

One offender was seen with a long handled screwdriver, another with mole grips, and a blow torch.

There were heat/scorch marks damage to locks on both premises but anti snap locks were not broken.

Then, less than 20 minutes later, at 4.13am at a property in Hazel Road, householders were awoken by their house alarm and found the rear patio door ajar. The broken lock appeared to have been blow-torched.

A police spokesperson said: "The use of a blow torch is less noisy than lock snapping. But where anti snap locks are in use, it is not effective.

"Any information at all, no matter how insignificant you make think it is would be greatly appreciated.

"If you have any information, please report it to the police on 101. Any information given will remain anonymous."

Incident numbers are 0055s 181219 for Hazel Road and 0053s for New Inns Lane.