LONDON, ONT. -- London police say they have investigated 13 separate break-ins at off campus student residences in the north end of the city since the start of semester. 

Police say the string of break-ins began in September.

London's Deputy Chief Stu Betts says, “Many of our students are coming back with computer equipment to conduct their studies and that's a natural target.”

In most cases thieves were able to get into the homes through unlocked or unsecured windows.

Police believe those responsible will watch the residences until people leave and then break in.

Residents are reminded to make sure their homes are secure at all times even when they are at home.

Betts says, “We really do recommend that there's communication among people who are sharing a home especially students...Who's locking the door? Who's making sure the windows are locked?”

Police suggest installing sticks in the window tracks, contact alarms, good exterior lighting and functional security cameras.

Any suspicious activity should be reported to police.

- With files from CTV's Nick Paparella