OVER the past week Chichester has fallen victim to car key burglaries and burglary ‘other than dwelling’ in the Fishbourne and Bosham areas.
Sussex Police said it wanted to make residents aware of the problem so they could limit their chances of becoming a victim of car key burglary.
A spokesman said: “The people who want these vehicles are professionals and the vehicles can be stolen to order, utilised for joy-riding, used to transport offenders or even be used in other crimes.
“Offenders have been known to cruise locations looking for the vehicles to target and follow them back to their overnight address.”
Sergeant Chris White said: “Many of these offences are preventable with the offenders gaining entry to the house or outbuilding via an insecure door or window and we would like to remind residents to make sure their properties are secure both during the evening and overnight even when they are at home.
“We all need to be vigilant. If you see anyone acting suspiciously report it to the police.
“These offenders will need to walk up driveways to look through doors and windows to see if there are keys in sight of a door or window.
“If you notice any such behaviour contact the police.”
Incidents include reported to police last week include:
Overnight on June 3, car keys were stolen from a house in Mosse Gardens, Fishbourne. The car was later found burned out in Hampshire.
Sussex Police reference 182 of 04/06/13.
Between 11pm on June 4 and 6.30am on June 5, keys were stolen from a property in Southbourne Avenue, Emsworth. A VW Passat estate registration R152MPA was stolen. Reference 140 of 05/06/13.
Sussex Police has issued the following advice:
If you have a garage, park your car in it.
On entering the house lock the front door behind you.
Never leave car keys near a door or window. Criminals can hook keys through open windows and letter-boxes. People have keys stolen without anyone entering the premises.
Do not leave car keys in an obvious place.
Do not leave house keys in the back of a door lock.
Consider installing security lights.
If threatened with violence for car keys hand them over do not put yourself at risk.
Special letter-box cowlings are available allowing papers and post to be delivered but stopping ‘hook and canes’ fishing.