Letterbox fishing

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A STRING of expensive cars have been stolen from people's homes as they sleep.

Two Mercedes and a Land Rover worth £25,000 were three of the five vehicles stolen from addresses in Chingford in the last week by two men who 'fish' for the keys through letterboxes.

A neighbour who tried to stop the pair was punched in the face and even threatened with a knife.

The resident was returning home at about 3am this morning(September 13) when he saw two men on his neighbour's drive.

He challenged the pair but they attacked him and then ran off in the direction of Hall Lane.

The victim's neighbours woke to find their black Land Rover missing, with the keys gone from the sideboard in the hallway.

Police could find no trace of the men.

The first man was described as six foot tall, dark-skinned and wearing a white jacket.

The second wore a black hoody and black jeans was about five foot ten inches tall and had short brown hair.

The two Mercedes were stolen from a house after the drivers had gone to bed on Tuesday, September 11.

Keys for the silver C180 Estate and the grey A160 were stolen through the letterbox, having been left on a chest of drawers in the hallway.

A blue Fiat Punto was driven away the same night from a house after its owner left the keys on a table near the front door.

Two men were scared off from stealing a red Mini Cooper in Bosgrove on September 12.

The homeowners awoke at 11pm to find a man sitting in the car and another approaching, but after shouting at the would-be thieves the pair ran off in the direction of The Ridgeway.

The first man was described as dark-skinned, aged between 20 and 25 years old, wearing a cream cardigan and blue jeans, but the car owners did not see the other man clearly enough.

Police confirmed they believe the thieves could be the same two men each time.

Detective Sergeant Iain Wallace said: "Be vigilant with your home security and keep car keys secure and out of sight of the front door. Remind your friends and neighbours. If you see anything suspicious, report it to us immediately.

"If you can assist us in any way call us on 020 3276 0959 or 101. You can also call Crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."