‘Hook the Duck’ gangs target Havering homes

A criminal game of hook the duck has hit Havering as thieves use fishing rods to steal keys from homes before making off with valuables.

The audacious crooks are pushing long thin poles with hooks or magnets on the end through open windows and letter boxes, catching car and house keys, Havering Police warned.

The thieves are then able to let themselves into victims’ homes or steal their cars, in a crime which typically takes place late at night.

Although the crime is not a new one, there has been a resurgence in the past few weeks with three or four similar burglaries, a Havering Police spokesman said.

He would not go into more detail and could not say if it was one gang at work or a number of copycat crooks.

Havering Council has issued the following advice to residents:

- Never leave valuables on view.

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- Never leave house and/or car keys on show or within easy reach.

- Consider buying a letterbox cage which fits behind the letterbox on the inside.

- Always remember to lock your front door and remove the key

If you have any information on the crime call Romford Police Station on: 101