Nottinghamshire residents are being warned not to have their car keys on display within their homes to reduce their chances of being a victim of vehicle theft.
Every day at least 53 householders in England and Wales find that their car has disappeared following burglary of their home to obtain the keys.
Thieves are either breaking into properties to access the keys or are fishing them out using tools through letterboxes.
Residents are being advised to place their car keys in a safe place out of view and not within easy reach of the front or back door.
Burglary in the county fell by 26 percent last year, which is six times the national average, and the number of key burglaries fell from 1,460 in 2009/10 to 219 in 2010/11.
Coun Mick Murphy, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at the County Council, said: “We do not want to people to panic as burglary is on the decrease and the number of key burglaries has fallen dramatically recently.
“However, residents should not become complacent and they can carry out a few simple steps to greatly reduce their chances of being a victim of car theft.
“Due to sophisticated immobilisers it is very difficult to steal a car without the keys which means thieves are going to greater lengths to get hold of the keys.
“This can be very distressing for the car owner but can be prevented by ensuring that car keys are not on display in their homes which can tempt opportunist thieves.
Nine people were jailed this week for stealing more than 75 cars worth £2m in Surrey and south-west London by using fishing hooks through letterboxes to get hold of car keys.