Increased patrols in Letchworth and Baldock after van break-in spate

Five van break-ins in Letchworth and Baldock in one week.

Five van break-ins in Letchworth and Baldock in one week. - Credit: Archant

Police patrols are being increased in Letchworth and Baldock after five van break-ins in one week.

Officers are investigating the break-ins which all happened between October 4 and October 10.

The first in the recent spate took place at Arbury Place in Baldock on October 4 between 5pm and 9.20pm. Offender(s) gained access to a blue Ford van by damaging the rear door and an untidy search was carried out.

Thieves got away with a Dewalt nail gun, power saw and screwdriver, a Stihl angle grinder, and a green and black holdall. Crime reference 41/43095/18.

Another break-in took place in Downlands in Baldock between around 12pm on Sunday, September 30 and 1pm on October 6 when a bag was taken from a white Ford Transit van.

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A fishing tent and equipment was also taken. Crime reference 41/43578/18.

Between 10.30pm on October 7 and 7.30am on October 8 offenders gained entry to a white Vauxhall Vivaro in West Avenue in Baldock.

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A took bag and three spirit levels were taken. Crime reference 41/44070/18.

A blue Ford Transit van in Hadrian Way, Baldock, was targeted between 7pm on October 9 and 6.50am on October 10.

A stereo, small amount of change, tool box, electric drill, batteries and a jigsaw were stolen. Crime reference 41/44768/18.

Officers are also investigating a van break-in which happened in Newells, Letchworth on October 7. At around 9.30pm tools including a Makita drill were taken from a white Vauxhall Vivaro. Crime reference 41/43997/18.

Anyone who witnessed any of the above offences, or has any information should call police on 101 quoting the relevant crime reference.

Sgt Alan Clarke said: “We are aware of a number of offences in the area where vans have been targeted. If you saw any suspicious activity that you believe could be related to any of these crimes, please do get in touch.

“Similarly, if you think you might have been offered any of these stolen items for sale, we would like to hear from you. I would like to reassure van owners that patrols are being increased to help prevent any further offences, and I would also like to remind owners of the following advice, which can help to prevent your van being targeted:

•It might sound obvious, but make sure you lock the doors and shut the windows whenever you leave your van unattended.

•Never leave any valuables visible - keep ALL possessions out of sight. Even if you know that there is nothing valuable in your jacket pocket or file left on the seat, a thief may try their luck.

•Remove tools from your van when left over night

•If removal of tools is not possible, fit a tool safe and ensure it is fully secured with good quality locks.

•Consider parking your van close to a hedge or wall in order to restrict access for anyone trying to get inside.

•Engrave or mark tools and their boxes with your postcode and house number.

•Fit additional locks external locks to van doors.

•Use an approved steering lock or gear clamps, and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have one.

•Fit a dual band tracking device that works on VHF/UHF and GPS to ensure that one tracking system is still functioning if criminals use GPS blocking techniques to avoid detection. Purchase devices to ‘Thatcham’ and ‘SBD’ approval to combat this type of vehicle theft, as vehicles equipped with a tracking device are often promptly recovered.

•Use a “Pedal Box Guard” to encase the pedals when the vehicle is not in use.

•Fit an on-board diagnostic (OBD) safe device, a secure lockable device that fits over the vehicle’s OBD port, inside the cabin, to prevent additional keys being coded.

•We recommend products that are Sold Secure, or Secured By Design.

•Hertfordshire residents can get a ten percent discount on vehicle security products through Protect a Van.“

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