Police warning after thieves target vans

VANS were the target of thieves in Stotfold this week, prompting a warning from police. Three owners discovered yesterday (Thursday) morning that their vehicles had been broken into. One van, at The Mixies, had the rear door lock punched out and tools sto

VANS were the target of thieves in Stotfold this week, prompting a warning from police.

Three owners discovered yesterday (Thursday) morning that their vehicles had been broken into.

One van, at The Mixies, had the rear door lock punched out and tools stolen from inside, while in Hitchin Road and Wycklond Close, windows were smashed to gain entry. Tools were again taken, and a satellite navigation system was snatched from the glove box of one.

These were the latest of a number of similar thefts in the area. Thieves often spend some time researching this type of crime and will note where vans likely to have trade tools in will be parked overnight. They then return to the area and attack all the vehicles in one night.

"We'd like to remind trades people to remove all their tools from vans at night," said area police inspector Mark Egan. "This type of thief will depend on people being complacent about being in a 'safe' area or the fact their vans are parked directly outside their homes. In fact they are experts at getting into vans without owners knowing - and in one of the cases this week were not deterred by an alarm."

He added: "Very often people who depend on these tools for their livelihood find they have not got adequate insurance to cover all the losses - not to mention the inconvenience and loss of earnings that results from tools and the vehicle being unavailable.

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"If you really have no alternative to leaving the tools in your van overnight, make every effort to at least put it on the drive, or back up so that the doors and rear windows are parked against a wall or hedge; use an alarm and make sure your insurance is up to date and reflects the value of your property.