Lake Macquarie Police have issued a warning to residents in the area to beware of thieves, after a spate of recent break-ins.

Around 3am this morning, police responded to reports of three people wearing dark clothing who were peering into vehicles in Brushtail Close, Lake Macquarie.

Police discovered a Jeep Cherokee had been stolen from a home in Hill Street, and within the stolen car located stolen property.

A 19-year-old man was arrested over the alleged offence while a second person fled.

The teenager was charged with break, enter and steal; be carried in conveyance without consent of owner; and goods suspected of being stolen in personal custody.

He’ll face Belmont Local Court on March 29.

Meanwhile, the advice from police is to secure homes by checking doors, windows and garages are locked, and also remove spare keys from hiding places such as under a doormat.

Police also advise the public to avoid leaving valuables in cars, as most thieves are opportunistic.

If your home or car has been broken into, call your local police station and leave everything as you found it so police can search for clues to catch the assailant.

Lake Macquarie Police also suggest residents compile a list of what they think may be missing – including details such as brand names and model numbers.

Anyone with information about the Brushtail Close incident or any other Hunter theft should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.