People are being urged to keep their car keys somewhere safe following a number of attempted thefts where cunning thieves fished the keys through letterboxes. Cleveland Police has dealt with three incidents so far this month where keys have been stolen by criminals using either a coat hanger or fishing rod. As a result, four people have been arrested and a Volkswagen Golf was stolen from an address in Middlesbrough.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Downes from Cleveland Police Volume Crime Team said: “We always advise people to keep car keys and house keys out of sight as unfortunately some criminals are using implements such as fishing rods and coat hangers to get keys from staircases and kitchen work surfaces to steal vehicles.
Police have been very proactive in bringing burglars to justice and we always do everything possible to catch those responsible.
"It’s also important for members of the public to do their bit to help prevent them from becoming a victim of crime by keeping doors and windows locked and keeping keys out of sight and out of reach from letterboxes."
The first incident occurred on Monday, January 4 at around 4am at a property in Middlesbrough.
Nothing was stolen but a 31-year-old man and a 27-year-old man were both arrested on suspicion of burglary and released on bail pending further enquiries.
A second incident in Middlesbrough occurred between Friday, January 8 and 11am on Saturday, January 9 when a grey Volkswagen Golf was stolen after the keys were retrieved via the letterbox.
A 17-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of burglary and driving offences and a 38-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of burglary. Both men have been released on bail pending further enquiries.
The third incident happened in the early hours of yesterday morning at 1.47am in Stockton.
A male in the property disturbed two males putting a fishing rod through the letterbox and they made off from the scene in an unknown direction.
Anyone with information regarding these incidents or anyone who sees anyone acting suspiciously is asked to contact Cleveland Police.