News

Car keys stolen in burglaries

03 Feb 2015 16:07 PM

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Police tackling burglaries where car keys have been targeted and vehicles stolen from outside are reminding residents to protect their property.

It follows reports of 16 offences in Newcastle and Gateshead since January 1, where car keys have been stolen during burglaries.

Areas in Newcastle such as Chapel House, Lemington, the east of the city and west end, as well as Gateshead's Whickham, Blaydon and Winlaton have seen offences.

As part of the force's Operation Soundwave, aimed at tackling opportunist thieves and burglars across the forced, police are promoting crime prevention advice to residents.

In some offences, suspects have gone in through an unlocked door while in others they have smashed a porch or doors window to reach inside.

Keys stolen have either been left with house keys in the back of the door left on a nearby table or in the hallway. Stolen vehicles include BMWs, an Audi, Renault Clios - in some offences the keys were stolen but not the vehicles.

Northumbria Police Inspector Lee Underwood is Neighbourhood Inspector for Newcastle North West, which covers Chapel House and Lemington.

He said: "We've seen an increase in offences across Newcastle and Gateshead where car keys have been targeted during burglaries to homes.

"We're carrying out operations - both high profile and covert - to both prevent offences and catch suspects, and known offenders are being targeted.

"We're seeing a variety of methods from burglars - some are sneaking in through unlocked doors and on other occasions windows are being smashed. But they common factor is they only have to be in the house a matter of seconds to find the keys and make off in a vehicle.

"It's vital people secure their property and are conscious of where they are keeping their car keys. Make sure doors and windows are locked and don't leave keys in view or within reach.

"Don't leave them in the back of the door - detach them from your house keys and store them somewhere out of sight. By taking a few simple steps to secure your keys it could prevent a lot of distress and frustration, not to mention cost."

Police are also reminding residents to report anything unusual or suspicious they see in their neighbourhood to police straight away so officers can attend. And consider installing outdoor security lighting, CCTV and an alarm, all of which deters thieves.

For more crime prevention information visit http://www.northumbria.police.uk/homesecurity, while people are urged to sign up to free property register Immobilise at www.immobilise.com.

Anyone with information about those involved in burglaries contact 101, ext 69191, or to report a crime in progress dial 999.