North Yorkshire Police is warning owners of expensive cars to be vigilant against "2-in-1" burglaries after a string of break-ins across the region.
Officers said that burglars are specifically targeting properties where high-performance cars, such as BMWs, Audis and Mercedes, are on the driveway and breaking in, with the sole intention of stealing the car keys and taking the car.
The most recent incident took place at around 1am this morning at a property in Sutton-in-Craven.
Three masked men burst into a house, threatened the homeowner and demanded the keys to his Volkswagen 4×4 .
The victim was able to contact the police and the men made off empty-handed, but the family were left shaken by the incident.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Ellis said: “If you own a high performance car, please ensure that you take all steps necessary to keep your vehicle locked and secure when at home.
“Burglars will look for easy targets and will check firstly for insecure properties and vehicles, so it’s advisable before you go to bed each evening to check that your car is safe, the keys are secure and all your doors and windows are closed and secure.
“The more difficult you can make if for potential burglars, the less likely they are to strike, so these are steps well worth taking. Don’t leave any keys in view, ensure any gates are locked and if possible, use another vehicle as a barrier to deter criminals.
“I’d also ask residents to remain vigilant for any suspicious activity. If you see anything which seems out of the ordinary, please report it to police on 101.”
Enquiries are ongoing and officers are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area, either at the time of the burglary or the hours leading up to it, to contact the Force Control Room on 101 and pass the information on. Quote reference 12190026155.