Police have issued a warning to local tradesmen to be vigilant after a string of van break ins through the region resulting in the loss of thousands of pounds worth of tools.
More than £20,000 worth of tools were taken in 17 incidents between December 30 and January 26 – three of those in the Eastleigh area:
Overnight on 8 January 10pm thieves struck in Charmwen Crescent, West End. and forced entry into vehicle via the sliding door and stole various tools and equipment to total value of £4,500
The following night a vehicle parked on Sharon Road, West End and believed to have been left unlocked was raided Thieves enter the vehicle via the rear doors and removed tools and equipment to a total value of around £840.
On January 11 a Ladder rack was stolen from top of work van while parked on the road.in Hathaway Close, Eastleigh.
Eastleigh and Romsey Chief Inspector Andy Houghton said:
“Most of the vans have been broken into after normal working hours and I’d stress it’s particularly important people don’t leave valuable items in vans overnight as this is when most of the crimes have occurred.
“It only takes a moment for thieves to break into a van. Locking the van will help stop opportunist but determined thieves who are targeting vans for the, far too often, easy pickings inside, come equipped and will get in quickly and be away with your expensive tools or other valuables in moments.
“I’d urge all van drivers when at all possible to remove any tools from their van when it’s not in use as it could save them a lot of hassle and possibly being out of pocket by doing so.”
Though in most cases the vans were locked there were some vans that tools were taken from that had been left insecure. Officers are also reminding people that insurance companies will not normally pay up for items stolen if the van is not even locked.
Anyone who has any information about who may be responsible for the crimes is asked to contact the Vehicle Crime Unit at Lyndhurst Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
People are also being reminded not to leave valuable items on display in their vehicles and to not only lock the van but also to make sure all the windows are shut and alarm it if it has one. Record valuable items on the Immobilise website www.immobilise.com as it could help get your items back to you if they are recovered.
It’s also advised to:
- Secure tools within a locked cage in the van whenever you leave it if they are not removed.
- Garage the van at night if possible
Officers are also warning people not to buy cheap tools and to take whatever details you can if someone does try to sell you such items. They are then asked to contact the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.