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A spate of burglaries in England has prompted some unique advice to cat owners from the authorities.
Police have commented upon two incidents in which car keys have been stolen, and another incident where house keys have been stolen, the suspected method being the use of a long hook-ended pole pushed through the cat flap.
In one burglary in Cambridgeshire, more than £1,000 of property was stolen, including jewellery and computer gear.
Debbie Weston, a community safety officer said: "Before fitting a cat or dog flap, think carefully about where you are going to put it.
"Where possible, have the entrance lead into a outbuilding such as a shed or garage or a room that can be locked from the rest of the house."
Much more practically, for those who already have a cat flap, Police are warning people not to leave keys near windows or doors.
Detective Sergeant Lee Herridge said: "This tactic has been widely used before in other parts of County Durham and elsewhere in the North East.
"We don't know whether these are the same offenders now operating in a different area or other crooks trying the same method.
"Either way, people should not leave their car keys in a place where they could be reached in this fashion."
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