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We are warning residents in Hart & Rushmoor to be on their guard after a number of burglaries targeting key safes.
In the majority of incidents, suspects have broken open key safes to access door keys, which they are using to gain access to homes before stealing the owner’s car.
Between 5.30pm on February 11 and 7.35am on February 12, suspects have damaged a key safe by the front door in Foxley Close, Blackwater.
They have used the keys kept within the safe to enter the house and stole the keys to a white Ford Focus. The Focus was subsequently stolen from the driveway.
Between 11pm on February 12 and 7.50am on February 13, suspects have broken open a key safe on the wall of a property in Hardy Avenue, Yateley.
The key has been used to open the front door and a set of keys to a BMW were taken before the vehicle was stolen off the driveway.
A tidy search of the house was also conducted but nothing further was taken. The BMW was later recovered from the Perivale area.
Between 9pm on February 14 and 7am on February 15, suspects gained access to a property in Ryelaw Road, Fleet.
The householder awoke in the morning to find the front door insecure. The key safe, which had been next to the front door on an external wall, had been knocked off and the key used to unlock the front door.
Several items, including watches and the television, were missing from the living room.
Between 9.30pm on February 14 and 12.30pm on February 15, suspects have stolen a key safe that was attached to the wall outside a property in Curzon Drive, Fleet.
No entry is believed to have been gained to the house but the door keys were stolen.
At around 6.21am on February 15, residents have reported a number of men acting suspiciously around vehicles in Wickham Place, Fleet.
Officers have been called but the men made off prior to their arrival. Two vehicles, a blue VW Tiguan and a blue BMW, later reported having been stolen from Grenville Drive in Fleet overnight, were recovered from Wickham Place.
A further vehicle, a grey VW Golf, was also stolen from Grenville Drive, and has yet to be recovered.
Keys to both VWs had been stolen from inside a property in Grenville Drive after the key safe was smashed off the wall.
The BMW was stolen after suspects gained entry to a separate property in Grenville Drive via an insecure rear door.
Overnight between 7.30pm on February 16 and 8am on February 17, suspects broke into a key safe at the side of a property in Cripley Road, Farnborough.
They have used the door key to enter the house and steal keys for a white Mercedes, which was then taken off the driveway.
Neighbourhood Inspector Jen Lovegrove said: “I can assure residents that we are conducting a number of lines of investigation and extra patrols are taking place.
“However, we would ask that householders with key safes do consider the following crime prevention advice.”
Key safes are generally a reassurance, and not a concern, however we are concerned that keys safes fixed on walls next to front doors are more likely to be targeted than those fixed round the back of house or in a more obscure location.
To protect your home and belongings, consider relocating the key safe to somewhere less obvious and contact the company that makes your key safe and ask how it can be made more secure.
We understand that key safes are vital for some people in the community, however some of us might have them as a helpful back-up system for when we or members of our family lose keys. Consider taking the key out when you know you won’t need it, like at night when these burglaries have occurred.
To protect your home further against burglary, we would always recommend installing security lights, alarms and CCTV.
If you see any persons or any vehicles behaving suspiciously, call 101 and report it. If you think a crime is taking place there and then, always call 999.
If you have any information about these crimes, you can call 101 and quote 44200060605.
You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.