A RISE in `car key burglaries’ – where homes are broken into to take car keys and then steal the vehicle – has led independent charity Crimestoppers to launch a campaign warning the public to keep their car keys safe.
They say the criminals involved target high-powered, high-value vehicles and often cruise around areas in the hunt for opportunities.
Homes in Redditch and the surrounding area have been targeted by such gangs with vehicles being stolen virtually every week.
Nationally, in the 12 months to June 2017, more than 100,000 vehicle thefts were recorded by police in England and Wales, a rise of around a fifth.
Pauline Hadley from the Crimestoppers charity, said: “Thieves are finding new ways to overcome impressive security measures being introduced by manufacturers.
“This is why in recent years they are resorting to new techniques – hence `car key burglaries’.
“The best way to protect your vehicle, especially if it’s high-value and therefore more at risk, is to keep your keys somewhere safe and out of sight.
“It’s also recommended to use extra security systems such as immobilisers and visible security locks.
“We are a charity that gives people the power to speak up to stop crime. We won’t ask your name and we won’t judge. We’ll just listen to what you know. Please speak up and stay safe.”
Crimestoppers can be contacted 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.