A THIEF crept into a house and snatched keys to drive off in an Audi worth £40,000.

In the seconds it took him to steal the car, the owners had been sitting in the next room.

Peter Isherwood, of Dobb Brow Road in Westhoughton, arrived home from work on Monday, leaving his car parked in the road outside his house.

Just minutes later he discovered that keys to two luxury cars, including a £75,000 Range Rover, had been taken by a sneak thief while he was just feet away.

Mr Isherwood, 47, came home at around 8.10pm to his wife, Julia, who went upstairs to watch TV with their dog.

The front gate of the property was closed at the the time but the kitchen door had been left unlocked in the moments after Mr Isherwood’s entrance.

Mr Isherwood, who is a civil engineering contractor, said: “At quarter past, I heard something, but I didn’t think anything of it — I regret not investigating.

“Ten minutes later, I couldn’t find my car keys, which isn’t all that unusual but then I saw that two sets of keys were gone. You start thinking the worst.

“I looked outside and the Range Rover was unlocked, then I went outside and sure enough the Audi was gone. It had disappeared in a puff of smoke.”

The couple believes the person was in and out of their house in under ten seconds, taking the 2017 registration car keys with them.

Mr Isherwood said: “I was in the next room with the door open between the two. It’s unbelievable — the cheek of it. You feel violated when it’s your house. Your house is your castle.

“It’s a financial kick, you work hard and other people take what you’ve got. You just feel like you want some retribution. I’ve had to change the locks on my house and get new car keys. I’m always looking out of the window to check if the car is gone. They were looking for something specifically, they weren’t just passing through. I don’t think it was opportunistic.”

The couple have reviewed the CCTV footage from cameras at their home which shows a man outside their kitchen door.

The police visited the couple the next day. The Bolton News has approached Greater Manchester Police for comment.