RURAL parts of Worcestershire are being raided by a gang of car key burglars who are targeting BMWs and Volkswagen Golfs.

The thieves have been active in parts of rural Wychavon including Droitwich, Bredon and Broadway over the last few days after similar burglaries were reported in South Warwickshire and North Worcestershire.

A car key burglary involves someone breaking into a person's home with the specific aim of removing car keys and stealing a car. Police believe at this stage that the car key burglaries are linked.

DI Dave Knight of West Mercia Police said: "This is clearly not acceptable and I am leading a team of officers looking to prevent further offences, and intercept and convict the offenders.

"We believe that the criminals are using a black coloured SUV type vehicle in the commission of these offences and are working in a gang of three.

"These are not victimless crimes. Not only have the victims had the terrible experience of knowing that their personal space has been invaded, they will also likely be out of pocket in terms of insurance excesses and loss of earnings due to a lack of transport.

"Police are working hard to bring the offenders to justice and we are working proactively to prevent any further offences taking place. We do regularly get calls from members of the public in relation to suspicious incidents and I would ask that if anyone sees anything that they perceive to be suspicious that they call us.

"South Worcestershire continues to be a safe place to live and thankfully these types of offences are rare."

The car key burglaries happened at The Ridgeway in Astwood Bank where a Blue VW Golf was stolen during the afternoon of Friday, March 30 (reference 396s 300318); Earls Common, Droitwich where a white BMW 4 series was stolen at lunchtime on Tuesday, April 3 (crime reference 298s 030418); Colletts Fields, Broadway where a Blue VW Golf was stolen during the morning of Wednesday, April 4 (crime reference 53s 040418); Bredon where a white coloured BMW X5 was stolen in the early hours of Wednesday, April 4 and recovered by police in Harvington, Evesham (crime reference 97s 040418).

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Anyone with information about any of these offences can contact West Mercia Police on 101.