POLICE have issued advice to residents after thieves pushed items through a letterbox to get inside or steal car keys.

In a series of burglaries something has been pushed through the letterbox, allowing the door to be opened from the inside.

In other instances, house and car keys near the door have been ‘fished’ out.

In one incident, on Tuesday night last week, an instrument was pushed through the letterbox of a home in of a house in Staverton Close, Wokingham.

Thieves were able to open the door – which was not double locked. After they got inside, they ransacked the house and stole car keys although no vehicles were taken.

In a similar incident in the early hours of Tuesday last week, a car was stolen after keys were taken from the inside, along with a bag and laptop.

The night before that, an instrument put through the letterbox of a home in King Edwards Close, Ascot, was used to fish out car keys before the vehicle parked outside was stolen.

Police are reminding people to double lock their doors, and to keep keys out of ‘fishing’ distance. Officers at the Thames Valley force have received some top advice from someone who knows – a burglar himself. He has revealed some classic signs he did and did not look for when scoping out a property to attack.

Rarely did he have to use the front door, as many people left their windows open – especially at the back where they thought no-one could see.

Many people leave their back doors open, or leave the keys in the lock, making it even easier for burglars.

The burglar said he avoided homes with burglar alarms, houses with dogs and streets with neighbourhood watch signs. He admitted visible police presence was also a deterrent.

If you have information on any crimes, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.