Van drivers across Baldock and Letchworth urged to be on alert after spate of thefts

Charity cash intended for serving forces personnel and veterans has been taken in a midnight burglar

Charity cash intended for serving forces personnel and veterans has been taken in a midnight burglary in Knebworth in which more than £3,000 of damage was caused. - Credit: Archant

Van drivers across Baldock and Letchworth are being urged to be on the alert after a spate of thefts from vehicles across North Herts.

Kevin Toman discovered that his white Ford Transit van had been broken into in Bursland, Letchworth, last Tuesday evening, with the crooks striking at some point between 7.30pm and 11pm.

The 47-year-old roofer has had to shell out hundreds of pounds to replace the power tools which he needs for work.

But he says it is hard to take precautions because the thieves are using a device which allows them to break into the vehicle without using force.

He said: “When I saw the van doors had been opened using this key, I thought they would have taken the lot.

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“I had about £70 worth of cash and my driving licence in the glovebox, but they didn’t take that, they were purely after the power tools – it’s hard to stop them.”

Power tools were stolen from a white Ford Connect van in Mullway between 4.15pm last Tuesday and 8am the following day, and police say anyone who noticed anything suspicious should get in touch.

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Power tools were also taken from a van which was parked at Redwings Lodge car park in Great North Road, near Hinxworth, between 7pm on Monday, April 11, and 9am the following morning.

Det Insp Duncan Sales, who oversees the police safer neighbourhood team covering Letchworth and Baldock, said this week: “I would like to hear from anyone who has recently been offered tools for sale in suspicious circumstances.

“There are some simple crime prevention measures that van drivers can follow to help prevent them from becoming victims of crime.

“Where possible remove tools from your van when leaving it parked overnight. If removal of tools is not possible, fit a tool safe and ensure it is fully secured with good quality locks.

“Engrave or post mark tools and their boxes with your postcode and house number, which will act as a deterrent to thieves and will make it easier for your property to be returned to you should it be stolen and later recovered.”

Anyone who has any information about any of the van break-ins is asked to contact the police via the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their anonymous online form at No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.

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