Police are urging residents when locking themselves in at night to keep their door keys well away from the front door following a number of burglaries in Sutton over the last week where police believe door keys have been grabbed via the letterbox. Detective Chief Inspector Alan Chambers, who leads Sutton’s CID, said he believes thieves have been gaining entry by either using a hook type device to grab the keys or by pulling down the front door handle down - taking advantage of householders who have not locked their front door with a key.
Once inside, thieves search for items to steal – including the householder’s car keys which are used to take the car. Incidents where police suspect vehicles have been taken from the driveway in this way following burglaries include:
* On the 14th January, a black BMW 3 series sport was taken from Danescourt Crescent, Sutton
* On the 11th January, a black VW Golf was taken from Morden Way, Sutton
* On 11th January, a BMW was taken from Priory Crescent, Sutton.
In some cases the thieves are using the householder’s door keys to lock the front door from the outside, or jamming the key in the lock, when making their escape – to impede the householder from giving chase.
DCI Chambers said a number of burglaries reported recently had showed ‘no signs of forced entry’. “This leads us to believe that entry is being gained somehow by thieves reaching in through the letterbox and managing to retrieve the keys from near the front door.”
He urged residents to protect their homes by not only properly locking their front door but also removing their front door keys to a safe place such as in a cupboard or drawer.
“We have launched a number of special operations including both uniform and plain clothes officers. These operations will be continuing over the coming weeks. Sutton is a low crime borough and we are determined to keep it that way. Residents should always report suspicious behaviour immediately by dialling 999.”