I have warned of the dangers of cat flaps in the past in that they are a weakness to the security of a household.
This particular vulnerability is actually quite special because very often people put their keys not too far from a door. If the keys are within sight of the cat flap then a thief can use a device to pull the keys towards the cat flap.
The keys will be household keys and car keys. With increased car security it is more difficult to break into a car and steal it unless you have the key. This is leading to more thefts of cars with the use of the car owner’s keys.
It is important that people keep their keys well away from cat flap and in a position whereby a thief does not have sight of the keys through the cat flap.
The BBC is reporting that thieves are “fishing for keys from cat flaps” which I think is a nice description of this form of theft.
As I understand it, these high-value cars are often shipped out of the country very rapidly and find their way to the Middle East, for example. They are never recovered. This is a very large and profitable business. There has been an increase in the theft of car keys in the Avon and Somerset area of the UK (the west of England). But this security weakness applies to any country.
I actually know somebody who puts a back door key not too far from the cat flap deliberately in case they lose their front door key. This is not a wise move. Although, in this person’s case there is nothing of value in the flat to steal therefore it is probably a perfectly reasonable idea.
Except that a homeowner needs to do all they can to prevent burglaries because burglary is not just about thieving household items, it is also about the desecration of your home by intruders. Burglaries can have a profound emotional impact upon homeowners leading to them moving home very soon afterwards.