Recently in Swindon there have been a number of incidents where thieves have broken in to homes, taken the keys to the car parked outside and then driven off in the car.
In most cases the vehicle is recovered a day or two later.
Wiltshire Police is reminding motorists to be mindful where they leave their car keys when home.
Det Con Jared Yalden said: “We are asking anyone who has a vehicle or vehicles to think about where you leave the keys once you are inside your home.
“Most of these incidents have taken place during the night/early hours of the morning where thieves have managed to get in to a property, usually through un-locked downstairs doors or windows.
“There have also been some incidents where thieves have got in to a property in broad daylight and taken the car left outside.
“Our advice is: don’t leave keys hanging in view of anyone who might look through a window; nor in front door locks or close to any door/window where thieves could easily find them.
“Most of these thefts have been carried out by opportunists – they see the keys and decide to chance their arm by taking the car.
“In many of these cases the chances are, if the keys hadn’t been in an obvious place, then the vehicle would not have been taken.”
Here are some basic crime prevention tips to help keep your home and vehicle safe:
• Keep car keys out of sight
• Never leave keys in a plant pot or letter box, a thief will know where to look
• Keep front and back doors locked even when you are in the house to prevent people walking in without you knowing, also double check they are locked at night
• Fit doors with mortice locks
• All windows should be fitted with locks, except those designated as fire escapes
• Keep valuable items out of view and mark them with a property marking system
• Make sure you have good lighting around your property and consider investing in a burglar alarm
• Lock tools and ladders away so thieves can’t use them to break in
• Make sure you have up to date contents insurance
• If you see anyone acting suspiciously take down any descriptions and vehicle registration numbers and call us immediately on 999.