A BAFFLED burglary victim emerged from his home to go shopping to find sneak thieves had snatched his BMW from his driveway.

David Snelling, 36, has issued a stark warning to residents on the St John’s estate, in Colchester, after crooks entered his home in St Saviour Close while he slept.

After forcing their way in through the front door overnight on Sunday, they crept into the lounge, stealing David’s car keys and making off with his five-year-old BMW 1 series, which he had purchased for £20,000.

“I didn’t find out my car had gone until I went out to go shopping at about 4pm the next day,” he said.

“It was like ‘Dude, Where’s my car?’, when I came outside and it wasn’t there.

“It was a bit silly of me, as I hadn’t double locked my door, and I had left my keys on the coffee table in the living room.

“The neighbours did hear a car screech off at about 2am, and they informed the police.

“The police told me it was a standard type of theft, in that they just forced their way in and quickly grabbed the keys to steal the car.”

The BMW was later found abandoned in Monkwick, Colchester, and is currently under examination by police.

Ground worker David said: “I was told it was found alongside another stolen car.

“I have been told forensics have it and that police think it is an organised crime gang.

“I hope to get it back, my wallet was in there too.”

David was hoping to see his car returned yesterday.

Admitting he is lucky to get his car back in one piece, he called on neighbours to remain vigilant around home security.

“I just feel like it’s lessons learned really,” he said.

“I would just want people to be aware of it and not to go through the same thing I have.

“Until something is gone you don’t realise how much you need it.

“I really need my car for work, and the insurance company were only going to pay £6,000.”

An Essex Police spokeswoman said inquiries continue.

Anyone with information can call 101.