Essex Police warn:
Police are urging drivers, especially the owners of high value vehicles, to beef up their home security in a bid to thwart would-be car thieves.
The appeal follows three recent burglaries in Rayleigh in which homes were burgled primarily for the vehicle keys. In two cases vehicles were stolen from the drive; in the third a car had been tampered with but was not taken.
Officers are linking these latest incidents to number of similar offences reported in the Rayleigh and Chelmsford areas recently.
The thieves struck overnight while the occupants of the houses slept, forcing the front door to get in and then rifling rooms in the search for keys.
Said Pc Emma Chapman: ?The vehicle is the thieves? prime target, but they need to get their hands on the keys because today?s increasingly sophisticated car security systems are making vehicles more difficult to steal.
?The tragedy for the owners is that they not only have to deal with the theft of their car, but also with the knowledge that their home has been violated while they slept.
“It?s a distressing experience for them and I would ask anyone who has any information that might lead us to the people responsible to contact Rochford CID on 01268 77553, extension 34434.?
There are a number of straightforward security measures that people can adopt to help safeguard their homes, not least by making sure that all windows and doors are secure and properly locked.
They might also consider installing security lighting at the front and rear doors, and think about setting the burglar alarm at night, even when they are at home. Both steps are known to deter intruders.
?But just as importantly I would urge people to be careful with their keys, especially their car keys and never leave them close to the front or rear door where they are in easy reach of a burglar. Always keep them locked away somewhere safe,? added Pc Chapman.
January 17, 2008