RESIDENTS in Thorne and district are being warned to keep their car keys safe following a spate of vehicle thefts.
Gangs of thieves have been breaking into homes to steal the keys to high value vehicles before making off with them from driveways.
In the last two weeks there have been at least 14 break-ins across the borough. Police said Thorne and Moorends were among the areas to have been targeted.
Vehicles pinched include BMWs and Audis, however family cars such as Ford Focuses have also been stolen, police said.
The method of stealing the vehicles is also known as two in one or Hanoi burglaries.
Det Insp Steve Whittaker, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “We are doing everything we can to prevent and detect these type of offences and I would urge the public to assist us by removing their car keys from view and where possible take them upstairs to bed with them.
“The police have run and are continuing to run operations to tackle criminals who commit this type of offence.
“We have had an increase in two in one burglary offences, and on nearly each occasion high valued vehicles are being taken usually as a result of the car keys being stolen from the kitchen side or keys left in the door.
“I am urging residents to treat their car keys as they would any other expensive item and not leave them lying around the house.”
In January three members of a drug and stolen cars ring were jailed for a total of 12 years. Several more men are awaiting sentence for their roles in the ring which was smashed during a series of dawn raids across the borough.
Detectives spent 18 months investigating the theft of more than 100 vehicles including BMWs, Audis and Land Rovers, worth £2.5 million across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
Free key rings are available from College Road Police station in Doncaster town centre to encourage people to take their keys upstairs.
Call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 220 20 20 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 to report a crime.