Councillor Patrick Clarke has since spoken to the PSNI about both thefts and believes that thieves are targeting households to steal keys as many vehicles now have anti-theft devices, electronic immobilizers and alarm systems which make vehicles more difficult to steal without keys.
Councillor Patrick Clarke stated: “In recent weeks there have been a number of vehicle thefts in Newcastle and Castlewellan areas where thieves have gained entry into households to steal the vehicle keys and drive away.
“Many modern vehicles now have anti-theft devices, electronic immobilizers and alarm systems which make vehicles more difficult to steal without keys.
“In Newcastle thieves gained entry via the garage and then a door into the house and subsequently lifted keys to the vehicle which was stolen while the householders were asleep.
“Thieves are now resorting to breaking into people’s homes to steal keys belonging to the vehicles so they can be driven away without breaking into them.
“I have spoken to the PSNI who confirmed the recent thefts in Newcastle and Castlewellan areas of vehicles and thieves breaking into the households.
“The PSNI have advised me that all too often keys to vehicles are left out, making it all too easy for the thieves to steal the vehicle.
“I am therefore urging and appealing to people to be extra vigilant about their vehicle and home security and to make sure that keys are placed in a safe secure place.”