A man caught a would-be thief who was attempting to burgle his home by poking a stick through his letterbox.

The victim, who lives in Golders Green, was woken by his dog barking at 3am this morning.

When he went to investigate, he discovered someone poking a 15-foot-long stick through the letterbox in an attempt to steal his car keys from the hall table.

The victim grabbed the stick and pulled it free from the suspect who then ran away.

The cane was made of several sticks taped together with a magnet on the end.

Barnet police, who are aware of similar incidents, are warning people not to leave valuables close to their doors.