Police in West Yorkshire issued the advice after thieves frustrated by sophisticated security devices on vehicles have turned their attention to stealing car keys.
Some gangs around the country are now staging house break-ins to get at keys, warned the RAC's campaigning arm, the RAC Foundation said.Key stealing now accounts for a growing proportion of the 320,000 cars that are stolen each year, the foundation added.It also said that the many opportunist burglars were now sneaking into porches, halls and kitchens in broad daylight to grab keys hanging on hooks near doors or breaking in by stealth during the night to deliberately seek out keys before driving off in the family saloon.
The foundation added that handbags and pockets containing keys were easy pickings in public places, while keys left briefly on shop counters, on tables in restaurants and bars and in the ignition of vehicles for short periods were all clear invitations to the wrong-doer"It's not rocket science to work out the motivation behind this trend," said Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation.
He went on: "As cars have become harder to steal with their sophisticated immobilisers and security systems, so thieves have concentrated on the easy option - taking the keys.
"That little piece of metal and plastic is often the only thing between the criminal and your £20,000 investment. Vehicle crime now accounts for more than a quarter of all reported crime and 40% of cars stolen are never returned to their rightful owners."
Source Daily Mail