PEOPLE in and around the Barnstaple area are being warned by police to be vigilant after a spate of audacious burglaries.In just over a month eight homes have been robbed in the town and outlying areas despite many of the occupants being inside at the time.Two homes in Newport and others in Rolle Street, Goodleigh, Forches, Swimbridge, Raleigh and the Whiddon Valley have been robbed.DC Sara Withecombe at Barnstaple police station said: "Many of these burglaries are happening while the occupants are actually in the house and often during the day. It comes to something when people can't leave their front doors unlocked when they are at home but, unfortunately, the fact someone is at home is no longer a deterrent to some burglars. If you are working in the back garden or on an upper floor it is worth taking a moment to secure the doors."These are random, opportunist thefts in which the culprit takes anything that can be easily carried away, including handbags,cash, cameras, a computer and, in one case, also a child's bike, she said."We are asking people to be on the look-out and to be more aware about securing their homes. Messages have also been sent out to local Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators."If anyone sees someone acting suspiciously or may have information about these thefts they are asked to contact Barnstaple police.