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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 11:23 GMT
Thieves accelerate car crime rate
Man with car keys
The keys to expensive cars are being targeted during burglaries
Thieves are targeting a leafy suburb of Sheffield with a series of 'Hanoi-style' burglaries where expensive cars are stolen after thieves find the keys.

Now South Yorkshire Police are urging residents in the Hillsborough area to beef up security and hide car keys.

Insp Ian Roberts said: "Many of the crimes we see here could have been avoided by taking simple security steps."

Over a recent two-week period the suburb has suffered 63 crimes.

Hotspot

Despite a concerted police effort to cut crime which saw burglaries drop by 44% and car crime by 51%, the thieves are staging a comeback.

The most common types of crimes carried out in Hillsborough are thefts of property from vehicles and house burglaries.

But more worryingly, the area is a hotspot for the 'Hanoi-style' burglaries where expensive cars are stolen by thieves who break into homes specifically looking for the vehicle's keys.

Officers say that over half of the Sheffield North police area's Hanoi burglaries, and therefore car thefts, happen in the Hillsborough area - but many could have been avoided by keeping car keys hidden.

Insp Ian Roberts said: "We advise people not to leave items on view in vehicles, no matter how worthless they seem, to avoid advertising property to thieves.

"By checking property is secure and windows and doors are locked, you are making a criminal's life difficult, rather than you own."




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