Officers are urging van owners in Staffordshire to ensure their vehicles are kept safe and secure after a recent spate of reported thefts from vans.
Offenders are mainly cutting holes in doors and locks to target work tools which are stored in vans overnight. Ford Transits, Vauxhall Vivaros and Mercedes Sprinters are amongst the most commonly affected vehicles - where items such as Dewalt tools, Paslode nail guns and hydraulics have been reported stolen. Three separate incidents were reported in Mile Oak, Tamworth, overnight from Monday (31 January) and Tuesday (1 February). One owner reported their work tools, estimated at £4,000, had been stolen from inside their van after offenders had smashed a rear window to enter. Similar offences occurred near Watling Street, where offenders had peeled back metal on the rear doors of a Vauxhall Vivaro and had taken work tools from inside. Offenders also cut a door open to another Vauxhall Vivaro on the same street, although nothing was reported stolen. A dark-coloured BMW 3 Series was seen acting suspiciously in the area, with three men inside. Three incidents were also reported overnight in Rugeley, where offenders had cut off padlocks and door handles to enter Vauxhall Vivaros and a Mercedes Sprinter. These offences took place between 10pm (31 January) and 6.30am (1 February) on streets off New Road, although nothing was reported stolen. Two offences were reported in Lichfield, where locks had been cut in-order to gain entry into vehicles. Between 6pm (31 January) and 7.45am (1 February), toolboxes, hydraulics and Dewalt work tools were stolen from a Ford Transit van whilst parked on a commercial premises on Birmingham Road. On the same road, a Vauxhall Vivaro was also broken into, although nothing was reported stolen. Deputy Commander Karen Green, of Staffordshire Police, said: “These type of offences can have a profound impact on the livelihoods of the victims. “Van owners should remain vigilant and consider their vehicle’s security to mitigate the chances of them falling victim to such offences." “Where possible, lock your van in a secure garage or use a steering lock to deter any opportunists from targeting your vehicle. If possible, make sure your van is parked in direct view of CCTV cameras.” “You should attempt to remove tools from vans overnight. An alternative can be to mark them clearly with their name using paint pens and sealing that with a clear lacquer spray. I would also suggest using a lockable cabinet and small cameras can also be installed inside vans.” For more crime prevention advice, visit: Preventing car and vehicle theft | Crime Prevention | Staffordshire Police