FAMILIES are scared to park their cars outside their homes because of the sheer number of vehicles being broken into.

The residents of Tower Court, Westcliff Parade, say they have been hounded by mindless criminals who are targeting their vehicles.

Chris Richardson-Child, chairman of the Tower Court Residents’ Association, said: “Residents in our five blocks of flats along this part of Westcliff Parade are really concerned.

“It is getting to the point where my residents are terrified of parking their cars outside.”

Chris’s vehicle was broken into at about 9pm last Monday, causing hundreds of pounds of damage.

Chris, 68, said: “They broke the back window and then opened the door that way.

“They just wait until it’s dark and then pick a car they think looks attractive and break in. That’s why we had CCTV cameras installed, but they don’t care.”

Another resident had their £23,000 Land Rover stolen from the same spot. Alan Jones, a former Essex Police officer, said: “I went down to go out in my car on Thursday and it wasn’t there.

“For a second I thought maybe I’d parked it somewhere else, but deep down I knew I hadn’t.”

Alan suspects they used a hi-tech gadget to clone his keyless signal as there was no broken glass at the scene.

The thieves also made off with his iPod and £,1000 worth of golf clubs.

The 68-year-old added: “I’ve been left completely frustrated because I can’t walk very far due to health reasons and I need a car.

“I’m having to pay just over £2,000 with my excess and replacing everything in the car all because my car was stolen and that’s what annoys me because it’s through no fault of my own.

“The police haven’t shown much interest, but I’m sure if £23,000 was stolen from a bank they would soon be quick to investigate. I don’t understand it.”

Essex Police confirmed they are investigating reports of break-ins and theft of a Range Rover Sport in Westcliff Parade overnight on April 30 and May 2 respectively and an incident in Wickford Road.

Call 101 with any information.