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POLICE WARN AFTER THEFT; HOOK-THIEVES ALERT AFTER RIISE ROBBERY.

Byline: GREGG FRAY Crime Reporter

POLICE have issued a warning to car owners after the theft of Liverpool star John Arne Riise's pounds 50,000 BMW.

The footballer's X5 car was stolen from his Liverpool home by thieves using a hook fitted to the end of a long cane to "fish" the keys through the letterbox.

Detectives in Merseyside warn that this type of theft is on the increase.

Officers have been warning people about the technique for over a year, but hook-and-cane crooks, who have been linked to organised crime, are as much of a problem as ever.

Detectives again appealed to people not to leave keys near doors or where they can be seen by opportunists.

A Merseyside police spokeswoman said there have even been cases in which burglars have taken aerials off cars and used them to hook keys from homes.

She said: "This is a crime that is totally preventable.

"To make sure you don't become a victim, keep all valuables away from your front door.

Don't put your keys on a table or a hook in your hallway."

Riise, 20, told the ECHO he has changed his locks and installed security cameras at his home in Woolton after he fell victim to the crime.

A crook fished his keys from a table near his front door as he watched TV in his living room.

CAPTION(S):

CRIME VICTIM: Reds star John Arne Riise was watching TV at home
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 8, 2002
Words:243
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