Warning as car thieves use fishing rods to steal keys through letterboxes

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Cheeky thieves have been using fishing rods to steal car keys through drivers' letterboxes.

Three similar incidents have been reported this month in the Teesside area and items such as fishing rods and coat hangers have been used in an attempt to steal keys through letterboxes.

The first incident occurred on Monday January 4th at around 4am at a property on Abdale Avenue in Middlesbrough. Fortunately nothing was stolen. 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 occurred on Windsor Crescent in Middlesbrough between Friday 8th January and 11am on Saturday 9th January. 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 this morning, Friday 15th January, at 1:47am on North Albert Road 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.

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.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents or anyone who sees anyone acting suspiciously is asked to contact Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.