Burglars are believed to be using small children to break into properties around the midlands, gardaí have warned.

It is thought the criminals are taking advantage of the recent hot weather by using small children to gain access to homes through open windows.

Members of a community text alert scheme were informed by gardaí that "a number of burglaries have occurred in Laois and Offaly over (the) past week, which it is believed young kids are being used to enter small windows of houses".

They were urged to be aware of the risks involved in leaving windows open and warned to be on the lookout for suspicious individuals.

A senior garda said it was not unusual for young children to be involved in crime, including burglary.