Vehicles valued at nearly £100,000 have been stolen in car key burglaries in the Rugby area in the past ten days.
In two of the burglaries the thives have gained entry to the properties through insecure doors and windows, enabling the thieves to simply pick the keys up and walk out again before driving off in the householders car.
In all seven vehicles including two Mini Cooper S, Audi A4, BMW, Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus and a Vauxhall Corsa were taken.
The Audi A4 was recovered in the Wood End area of Coventry.
Now, as part of Operation Citadel, the continuing force initiative to reduce burglary, police want to drive home the message that people should take steps to protect their homes and their vehicles from theft.
A spokesman for Warwickshire Police said: “Modern immobiliser systems mean that car thieves are looking for ways to steal the car keys in order to take the car, so people should start by making sure car keys are stored in a safe place that is out of view of someone looking through the window or through the letter box of their home.
“Also make sure you go round and check that all the doors and downstairs windows are locked before you go to bed at night. As well as stealing your car the burglars are likely to take other easily portable valuables such as lap top computers, cameras, mobile phones, wallets and purses.” said Detective Sergeant Henry Scutt from the Rugby Acquisitive Crime Team
Other ways to help protect you car include:
· If you have a garage, use it. Don’t just park your car on the driveway if you can store it out of view
· If you have a driveway consider having gates fitted and always close and padlock them when the car is parked up. The locked gates provide a further barrier for potential thieves.
· Even if your car is fitted with modern anti-theft devices, consider additional visual measures such as a steering wheel lock.
· Consider having a tracker device fitted to the car. If it is stolen you will be able to trace where it has been taken to. This will help the police to recover the car and could lead to the arrest and prosecution of the person who stole it.
· Motion activated security lights fitted outside your home are a deterrent to burglars who prefer to commit their crime under cover of darkness, while a CCTV camera can help to record images of anyone looking around outside your house.
· A burglar alarm fitted to your home will mean you will become immediately aware if you have an intruder.
Anyone with any information about burglars operating in their community is asked to contact the police using the non-emergency number 101. If you see a crime in action, or there is danger of injury or death call 999.