Police are advising residents in the Ribble Valley not to leave keys or valuables in reach of a letterbox or cat-flap.
The warning has been issued by PC Tony Ford MBE, Watch Liaison Officer for Lancashire Constabulary, after cheeky thieves used a branch to “fish” through the cat-flap of a house and escape with property and vehicles while the occupants were sleeping upstairs.
The burglary occurred at around 3-30 am on Tuesday at Whinney Lane, Langho. Raiders approached the semi-detached house and using a branch torn from a nearby tree the offenders “fished” through the cat-flap in the locked rear door and managed to hook the house keys which were then used to unlock the door.
Once inside, they found the keys to two cars, which were parked on the drive outside. Taking these and some other personal property, the offenders then stole two cars from the driveway. They also made off with personal property including a handbag and mobile phone.
One of the cars, A Citroen C1, was recovered later in Clayton-Le-Moors while the other vehicle is still outstanding.
PC Ford said: “Never underestimate the resourcefulness of the burglar.
“It took the intruders just ten minutes to complete the offence. Make sure your keys and valuables are locked away at night.”
He added: “Police investigations are continuing into the burglary and we are appealing for witnesses who may have seen anything suspicious to contact police on 101.”