MOTORISTS are being urged to keep their car keys hidden and their homes secure after five cars were stolen from homes in one Sheffield suburb in just one night.
Two teenagers aged 15 and 18 have been remanded in custody and charged over the break-ins, all of which happened in Walkley within a few hours.
Most involved offenders using a stick or hook to steal car keys through homeowners’ letterboxes. Temporary Det Sgt Matthew Mellor said: “Occasionally we see a spate of crimes like this, where car keys are stolen through letterboxes or cat flaps. We would urge all car owners to hide their car keys at night, and keep them well away from doors and windows.”
The first incident was reported at around 4am on Monday, when a car and electrical items were stolen by suspects who got into the house via rear patio doors.
Half an hour later police were called to reports of two more burglaries nearby.
Cars had been stolen from both homes by offenders who used a stick to retrieve the keys from inside the houses through the letterbox. One car, a red Alfa Romeo, was later crashed on Parsonage Street.
At around 7am, police were called again to another burglary in which a car and a laptop were stolen.
And at 7.15am another burglary was reported, in which the thief used a hook to steal car keys.
South Yorkshire Police urged residents to lock doors and windows, upgrade locks, install burglar alarms, leave lights on when they go out, keep valuables and car keys out of sight, fit outside security lighting and review boundary security.
They also said residents should report suspicious people or vehicles, protect their valuables with a property marking solution, and register property on www.immobilise.com so it can be returned if stolen. Call police on 101.