STAFFORDSHIRE Police are urging car owners to be vigilant following a spate of car key burglaries in the south of county this month.
So far, there have been 16 such burglaries and a further 11 attempts to enter properties.
Thieves are targeting prestige or performance vehicles stealing keys from inside the properties, before making off with the vehicle. New sports editions of Audis, BMWs, Fords and VW are being stolen.
Detectives and local policing teams have already secured a number of successful convictions for these offences through Operation Jackal, but they want the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious incidents.
In recent weeks five men from Wolverhampton have been sentenced to 50 years in total for car key burglaries and robberies. Five men are also due to be sentenced on October 17 at Stafford Crown Court for car key burglaries in the Tamworth area.
In most burglaries, the criminals break into the house through the door, either by forcing the lock or kicking it in, so residents are urged to make sure their doors are strong and secure and keys hidden.
Detective Inspector John Quilty, of Staffordshire Police, said: “These crimes are often committed by criminals who are working to order and targeting certain types of vehicles, based on demand and value.
“All car owners should be vigilant and take simple crime prevention measures to deter thieves. These include keeping car keys safe and out of sight both in the home and when you are out and about.
“If you are aware of anyone behaving suspiciously around your car or property, or if you think you are being followed, phone us on 101 or, if there is a crime ongoing, 999.”