Thanet police officers are warning residents not to leave house keys in doors that have cat flaps after a series of burglaries where thieves have reached through and unlocked the door.
In the most recent case yesterday, thieves reached through a newly fitted cat flap in the rear door of a house on Northdown Park Road, Margate and unlocked the door by using the keys that were sitting in the lock.
The thieves then stole a laptop computer, a portable DVD player and the back door keys.
Sergeant Gordon Etheridge, of Thanet’s Crime Reduction Unit, advised residents with cat flaps to keep the keys and other property well out of reach.
“If you have a cat flap in your door, make sure you don’t leave your keys sitting in the lock or hanging nearby. Thieves are very cunning and will take such opportunities to break into your home.
“Although it’s wise to keep keys near your doors in case of a fire, if you have a cat flap keep them well out of reach and out of sight of burglars.”
Sergeant Etheridge also recommended residents not to keep any valuable property near the cat flap in case thieves decided to grab it.
“And also keep tools out of reach, as a hammer or tool box left by the door could be used grabbed by thieves reaching through the cat flap and used to force open the door.”
He reminded residents to keep their homes locked securely - double locking doors and closing all windows – and using alarms, if fitted.