Police step up patrols after spate of van break-ins in Hitchin and Letchworth

Two men were arrested after a car ploughed into a tree in Great Ashby Way following a police chase o

Two men were arrested after a car ploughed into a tree in Great Ashby Way following a police chase on Friday - Credit: Archant

Police are stepping up patrols after a spate of van break-ins and catalytic converter thefts in Hitchin and Letchworth.

Over the last week power tools were stolen from four Ford Transit vans and two cars had their catalytic convertors taken in Hitchin.

There were also three vans that were broken into in Letchworth during mid-February.

Between 5pm on Thursday and 6.55am on Saturday power tools were stolen from four vans on Halsey Drive, Kings Down, Tristam Road and Highover Way in Hitchin.

And between 10pm on Thursday and 11am on Friday catalytic converters were stolen from a parked silver Ford Galaxy in St Michaels Road and a Seat Alhambra in Lucas Lane.

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In mid-February power tools were stolen from vans in Alban Road, Fleetwood and Kyrkeby in Letchworth.

Det Insp Lynda Coates said: “This is an unusual level of vehicle crime for Hitchin and Letchworth and we are putting on extra patrols to tackle the problem.

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“Van drivers and owners of vehicles with catalytic convertors need to be on their guard.

“The message is clear – don’t leave anything in your vehicle at any time and keep your vehicle secure.

“We want residents to keep a lookout for anyone behaving suspiciously. All of these crimes are believed to have occurred overnight.”

Anyone with information should call the police non-emergency number 101, but if you see anyone acting suspiciously you are advised to call 999.

Det Insp Coates added: “There are certain measures people can take to try and prevent themselves from becoming a victim of catalytic convertor theft.

“It is extremely inconvenient to have your catalytic converter stolen, not to mention the expense and potential impact on your insurance costs.

“We would urge motorists to park their vehicles in a garage if they can, or get their catalytic converters property marked – contact your Hitchin safer neighbourhoods teams on 101 for more details.”

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