A distraught couple are offering a “substantial” reward for the return of a stolen box containing the keys for a showroom full of motors.

Kelly and Jamie Littlefield are urging anyone who finds the box, taken from the boot of a car, to return it and save them thousands of pounds on new locks for vehicles in the showroom of their KJ Prestige garage on Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth.

Mrs Littlefield said thieves had broken into a distinctive pink VW Beetle cabriolet on Thursday night, or during the early hours of yesterday morning, while it was parked on the road outside the couple’s home in Winton.

“This is our livelihood. We’re a family business. We’ve only had this garage for six weeks. It could cost us thousands of pounds.

“I’m just hoping some Good Samaritan finds it in their garden, looks inside the box, and sees it’s just a lot of keys. They are no good to anyone else,” said Mrs Littlefield.

The aluminium box contained the keys to 15 cars and one motorbike.

Mrs Littlefield said changing the locks on just one of the luxury vehicles – a Mercedes SL with a sophisticated coded alarm system – could cost £500.

Mr Littlefield said he and his wife had lived at their home address for 11 years and said their neighbours were used to seeing the couple arrive in different cars.

“We work hard for a living. It’s not fair that someone should do this,” he said.

Contact Dorset Police on 01202 222222 quoting crime number C11C1966.