Police are on the lookout for a thief on a bike who is breaking into houses, stealing vehicle keys and then making off in the home owners car.
There are have been several incidents of vehicles being stolen in Whitby and surrounding villages – in particular Aislaby and Sneaton over recent weeks.
Police say there is one common theme and are warning home owners to not only be vigilant about home security but also about where they are keeping their car keys.
The most recent incident was last weekend.
Overnight between Friday March 7 and into Saturday March 8, police say the offenders approached a bungalow in Sneaton by bicycle and get into the property via an integral garage before breaking the glass in an internal door.
They ransacked the house going through drawers and bedrooms and eventually found the keys to the victim’s car – a red Ford Fiesta, registration number EN61 KTA.
In addition to stealing the car they also made off with electrical items and jewellery.
Det Con Neale Graham at Whitby CID said:
“Over the past few weeks, Whitby and the immediate rural areas, such as Aislaby and Sneaton, have been subjected to a number of dwelling house burglaries.
“One offending pattern of note is where the offender will attend the address on a pedal cycle and initially attempt to gain entry to any insecure doors of attached garages.
“If successful in gaining entry he will then attempt to enter the house by means of either forcing the door to the house or by forcing a house window.
“If the offender is able to gain a sizeable haul from the address and also locate any vehicle keys, he will then make off in the victims vehicle.”
It is the latest in a series of similar incidents.
A fortnight ago the keys to a Citreon C3 were taken from inside a house at Ruswarp before theives made off in the car.
Between January 10 and 11 a similar incident happened at on Love Lane and again at a property on North Promenade between January 26 and 27.