Pensioners have had key safes crowbarred off their homes and their keys stolen in a callous crime spree.

Key safes on the outside of people's homes are often used as a way for carers and family to visit relatives with mobility issues, particularly the elderly, who may struggle to get to their front door.

But in the early hours of Tuesday morning, residents in Portsway Close and April Close were targeted by criminals who ripped these safe boxes off the front walls of their bungalows.

Daily Echo: April CloseREAD MORE: 25 dead animals dumped outside Awbridge Primary School

It was reported on Facebook that the criminals were disturbed during their spree, and that a couple of the key safes were found - but the contents were empty.

The front door locks of the properties have all been changed since the incident, the post said.

At least two people who were involved were allegedly captured on a ring doorbell camera.

Since the incident, residents told the Echo of their worry over what happened - but did not wish to speak on the record due to fear of being targeted by the criminals themselves.

The spate of incidents were reported to police, who have since launched an investigation.

A police spokesperson said officers were carrying out enquiries in the area.

Due to what happened, patrols were stepped up in Portsway Close, April Close and the surrounding roads to offer reassurance to the community.

The police statement said: "We were called on Tuesday 6 February to a report that keys had been stolen from key safes at two addresses on Portway Close, while a third key safe had been damaged.

"A key safe was also taken from a property on April Close.

"These incidents are under investigation and officers are carrying out enquiries, as well as dedicated patrols in the area."