A rise in the number of cars being stolen after thieves take keys from inside homes has prompted a police warning.
Last month a Halton house was targeted and police say there were eight such incidents, known as vamoose burglaries, in Aylesbury Vale between October 12 and 25. There were only six in August and September.
Car owners in Edlesborough, Slapton and Pitstone are being asked to be particularly vigilant and report any activity.
Det Insp Russ Murden said: “Thieves can break in almost silently and within seconds. If your front and back doors are locked securely and the keys are not adjacent to either exit, taking those extra seconds to find the keys could substantially reduce your risk of becoming a victim of a vamoose car crime.
“Vamoose burglaries often happen when car keys can be seen or are left next to a door or window of a building. Handbags are one of the first places offenders look to find car keys.”
No specific marque is being targeted but most have been new models. The crimes take place at night and cars have been stolen from occupied and empty houses.
Home owners are advised to make sure vehicles are properly deadlocked and that the alarm is fully activated, lock all car windows and doors and keep car keys away from any windows and doors to prevent them from being ‘fished’ through letterboxes or seen from outside to tempt crooks.
Contact police on 101 with information or Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111.