Stevenage theft victim’s warning after spate of crimes

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- Credit: Archant

A carpet fitter who had his van broken into and tools stolen which can never be replaced is keen to warn others to be vigilant after a spate of vehicle-related crimes.

A carpet fitter who had his van broken into and tools stolen which can never be replaced is keen to warn others to be vigilant after a spate of vehicle-related crimes.

Chris Farbrother, of York Road in Stevenage, said: “My van was parked about 20 or 30 yards from my house, and I always back it up to the garage. When I went out the next morning it had been rolled forward and a toolbox and radio had been taken. It had tools in there that I had when I first started work 35 years ago.

“Some of the tools I had in there were tools I had made myself - gadgets I had developed. They’ll be in a skip somewhere because they won’t be of use to anyone else.”

Chris has so far spent £450 replacing some of the stolen items, as well as £300 on anti-theft devices.


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He said: “I have heard of at least five different vans broken into in the last few weeks in the area, so I just want to make people aware.

“It doesn’t help there are no streetlights on - it’s pitch black out there during the night.”

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Hertfordshire Police have been holding van security events, including one in the B&Q car park on London Road in Stevenage, in response to an increase in vehicle-related crime across the county.

The aim is to help drivers protect their vehicles, for instance by attaching tamper-proof screws to number plates, offering catalytic converter marking and giving tips on how to make your vehicle more secure.

Event organiser PC Chris Cowell said: “We see a lot of break-ins to vans, particularly ones which may have valuable tools inside.

“We were able to speak to many tradesmen who were visiting the store about how they can deter thieves and prevent them from targeting their vehicles.

“Following some simple crime prevention advice can make all the difference.”

Visit www.herts.police.uk for more information.

If you see any suspicious behaviour in your neighbourhood, call Hertfordshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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