East Surrey homeowners warned to hide their car keys after burglars drive off in victims' vehicles (From Redhill And Reigate Life)
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East Surrey homeowners warned to hide their car keys after burglars drive off in victims' vehicles
3:54pm Monday 4th November 2013 in Local News
Police are warning homeowners to keep their car keys out of sight after a series of break-ins in which burglars have driven off in residents' vehicles, including in Redhill and Horley Surrey Police said its officers have been called to a number of incidents over the last week, in which burglars have stolen keys from inside properties they have broken into, and then driven off in the victim's car.
A Surrey Police spokeswoman said recent burglaries where keys and the vehicle have been stolen include incidents in Redhill, Horley, Oxted, Leatherhead and Caterham.
Detective Inspector Clive Vale, said: "Most thieves are opportunistic and if a burglar can see your car keys on display, they know they can be in and out of the property and driving away in your vehicle in a short space of time.”
Det Insp Vale said: “By searching for your keys, the offender is putting themselves at more risk of being caught and knows that their search may be fruitless. “On the balance of probabilities, they may just decide it isn't worth it.”
Det Insp Vale continued: "Crime prevention need not be costly or time consuming, but the consequences of not securing your home or vehicle could be. “Just taking the few minutes to check all your doors and windows are closed and locked may be all it takes to put a prospective burglar off, and save you the hours and heartache of having to try and claim for and replace stolen property.”
Burglars have also swiped cars from outside East Surrey homes in Ashtead, Sutton and Epsom.
The spate though has also included North and West Surrey, with incidents in Guildford, Farnham, Camberley and Ottershaw.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Surrey Police on 101, quoting Operation Candlelight. Alternatively, people can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Surrey Police launched its six-week Operation Candlelight campaign last month, to educate householders about the thinking of burglars and what they look out for before committing a burglary. Traditionally there is a rise in burglaries over the autumn and winter months, with darker nights and increased spending over the Christmas period important factors.
Advice on home security is available by calling your local Crime Reduction Advisor on 101 or from the home security pages at Surrey Police's website at: www.surrey.police.uk