Thefts from cars and vans up 84 per cent in Stevenage

PUBLISHED: 07:25 04 October 2018 | UPDATED: 07:25 04 October 2018

Thefts from vehicles in Stevenage are up 84 per cent since the start of April 2018, compared with the same period last year. Picture: DANNY LOO

Thefts from vehicles in Stevenage are up 84 per cent since the start of April 2018, compared with the same period last year. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

The rate of thefts from cars and vans in Stevenage is up 84 per cent on last year, police have said.

Police said that since April 1, there had been 242 thefts from vehicles in Stevenage – compared to 131 between April 1 and October 1 last year.

This comes amid a rise in thefts from vehicles across Hertfordshire, albeit a much more modest one of seven per cent.

Other areas experiencing significantly high increases include Hertsmere, where thefts from vehicles are up by 27 per cent, and Dacorum – where there has been a rise of 18 per cent.

Insp Andrew Palfreyman from the Crime Reduction Unit said: “Thefts from vehicles have continued to increase in some parts of the county, so we are reminding drivers not to encourage thieves by leaving valuables on view in your vehicle.

“Make sure that any items such as coats, bags, phones are out of sight and try to remove anything of value from the vehicle when left overnight.

“Vans continue to be a target for thieves looking for tools and other equipment stored in them. Criminals have become more sophisticated in the methods they use to bypass some vehicle security systems, so I urge the removal of tools or installing a tool safe.

“We are running crime prevention events across the county helping people to secure their vehicles and security marking valuables.”

To find out more about these events, look at herts.police.uk.

Officers recommend fitting additional external locks to van doors, and never leaving tools in a van unless they are secured in a safe.

Other anti-theft measures include engraving or marking tools and their boxes with your postcode and house number.

To combat vehicle thefts, police say you should never hand over the keys to a third party, or leave the vehicle unattended at a valet car park or car wash where it might be possible for criminals to code their own keys electronically.

Devices are now available called OBD safes – which fit over a vehicle’s on-board diagnostic port and prevent criminals using software to code a key from the vehicle.

Criminals can also use remote or keyless-entry jamming equipment, so make sure your car is locked by trying the door by hand before you walk away.

For more advice, see herts.police.uk/protectyourproperty.

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