Burglars have stolen 24 luxury cars, including Porsches, Mazeratis and BMWs, worth “well into the millions,” while their owners were out of town or asleep in their Toronto homes, police say.

“These houses are targeted. There’s no doubt about it,” Staff Insp. Mike Earl said at a news conference on Thursday morning. “They’re looking for these very expensive motor vehicles.”

The burglaries have been happening since Aug. 3 and police believe the thieves are part of an organized gang who target homes in affluent neighbourhoods “under the cloak of darkness” after doing their homework.

The thieves either break in late in the evening or early morning hours, disable the alarm system and ransack the bedrooms and kitchens, looking for the car keys.

When they can’t find the keys to steal the cars, they poach jewelry or electronics, such as iPads.

In one incident, when burglars couldn’t find the keys to a Mazerati at a home in the Bloor and Royal York area around 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 13, they stole an iPad instead, Earl said. One of the men was captured on video urinating in the family pool before leaving.

On Nov. 11, $100,000 diamond ring was stolen from a home in the Royal York and Edenbridge area when the the owners were on vacation and the burglars couldn’t find the keys to the Cadillac Escalade that was parked in the driveway.

There have been no confrontations with homeowners.

Only three of the stolen cars were recovered. They were found in a parking lot in the Burnhamthorpe and Dixie roads area in Mississauga.

Police say the stolen vehicles are either re-registered to be sold to unsuspecting buyers or shipped overseas to be sold.

Police have released images of two suspects caught on security video and are asking the public for help in catching them.

They are warning homeowners to be more vigilant and offered some tips to help prevent auto theft from homes:

When at home:
•    If you have a garage, use it and lock it
•    If you have a rear-wheel drive car, back into driveway
•    If you have a front-wheel drive car, park front end first
•    Always set the emergency brake
•    Don’t leave the ownership or insurance cards in the vehicle when unattended
•    Drop business cards or address labels inside doors to assist with vehicle identification

Record the following:
•    Year and make, model, colour(s)
•    Licence number
•    Vehicle identification number
•    Serial numbers of all special equipment
•    Special markings like dents, scratches and other damage

For more information about auto theft, visit the Toronto Police Service website.