POLICE are investigating a link between a number of car thefts where men broke into homes and stole car keys.

Two cars were stolen from the Colchester area over the weekend, and there was an attempted theft on Friday night.

Caroline Cowen and her husband, Rob, had their blue Audi Q7 stolen from Prince Phillip Road while their children were sleeping.

Caroline said: “Our neighbour’s CCTV shows our car being driven off the driveway at about 4.18am on Saturday.

“A man was seen trying the door handles on people’s cars at about 2.20am.

“My husband went out to work at 5am and looked at the drive and saw the car was gone.”

She said the thieves struggled to get the car moving and were on the driveway for about three minutes.

All the while their sons, aged five and 11, were asleep upstairs.

The men broke into the house and took the car keys.

Caroline added: “Police said we wouldn’t have heard them come in. They just came into the front of the house, they didn’t trash it.

“They just popped the door and shut it behind them afterwards. It’s sickening.”

Police issued an appeal for information.

An Essex Police spokesman said there is a potential link with two other incidents.

He added: “Car keys were taken from an address in Bishop Road overnight between September 13 and September 14 but the cars weren’t stolen.

“Then between 2am and 5am on September 15 a dark grey BMW 520i was stolen from Hazell Avenue after someone broke into the property and took the keys.

“We are investigating whether these incidents are linked and our inquiries are ongoing.”

Police are advising people to ensure their cars are locked and valuable items are kept away from the front of the house.

Anyone with information can call police on 101.

The number plate on the stolen blue Audi is CC08 WEN.