BURGLARS drove off in a black Mercedes after breaking into a property and stealing the car keys.

Offenders stole the vehicle from an address on Ashton Road, Newton-le-Willows.

Police are appealing for help from the public after the break-in which took place this week between 10pm on Monday and 9.25am on Tuesday.

READ MORE > Man, 20, arrested in connection with burglary in which BMW and Mercedes stolen

The victim reported their black Mercedes A200 car (registration number SN67NDK) had been stolen from the drive on Ashton Road after the offenders forced entry to a side door at the property.

The keys to the vehicle were taken before the car was driven away.

Officers have carried out house to house enquiries, and checked the area for any CCTV opportunities.

Detective Inspector Tony O'Brien said: "I would like to reassure the community that we are working hard to identify the people responsible, and locate the stolen car and return it to its owner.

"I would urge residents to check their front doors, windows and garage doors to prevent becoming easy targets, and ensure car keys are kept safely out of sight. When you get in the habit of doing a quick check it doesn't take much time at all and could save you a lot of distress in the long run.

"If you have a garage, use it for your car or if you park on a driveway with gates, ensure you close your gates at night and consider putting an obstruction such as your wheelie bin in front of your vehicle. If possible use a steering wheel lock on your vehicle.

"These criminals are looking for the easiest, quietest and least confrontational way to steal a vehicle, so anything you can do to make it harder for them means you are less likely to be targeted.

"We all need to be vigilant. If you see anyone acting suspiciously near a house or driveway – especially at odd times of day - report it to police.”