POLICE officers have launched a door-to-door operation in Burton in a bid to raise awareness of an increase in the number of car key burglaries.
Staffordshire Police has launched the campaign following a recent rise in incidents across the area including in Stapenhill and Horninglow.
Posters and postcards are being distributed to households to advise owners of high value and highly sought after vehicles in a bid to get them to take extra precautions.
Chief Superintendent Jon Drake said: “Many of the car key burglary offences are preventable with the offenders gaining entry to the house and the car keys via an insecure door or window.
“It is imperative that residents make sure their properties are secure during the day, evening and overnight even when they are home.
“We are working with officers from neighbouring forces to share intelligence, target, disrupt and arrest offenders travelling for the purpose of committing crimes.
“The use of automatic number plate recognition system via new fixed site systems and mobile technology ensures that we can have a real impact on preventing crime.
“We urge householders to be vigilant and report anyone acting suspiciously to us via our non-emergency number 101, or in an emergency 999.
“Thieves are resorting to elaborate ways of getting hold of keys to steal high-value vehicles, including removing keys through letterboxes with ‘hook and cane’ fishing. Offenders are also gaining entry to properties via insecure doors and windows and many are breaking their way in.”
Risks can be minimised by ensuring the following measures:
• Never leaving car keys near a door or window;
• Keeping keys in a safe place and don’t leave spare keys around;
• Investing in a good-quality home security system;
• Installing security lights to the front and rear of the property and consider installing CCTV cameras;
• Locking up homes even when people are home;
• Gating any driveway; and
• Investing in a tracking device for any vehicle and know how to activate it.