Around 40 incidents of theft from motor vehicles have been carried out in Suffolk and on the Suffolk/Essex border over the weekend.
In all of the incidents from Saturday, October 5, up to the early hours of this morning (Monday, October 7) the offenders were targeting vans for power-tools.
The offenders gained entry by drilling doors and windows to gain entry.
Some of the locations where offences were reported include Walsham-le-Willows, Wyverstone, Lavenham, Great Waldringfield, Cavendish and Clare, Ixworth and Needham Market.
Detective Inspector Steve Clarke said: “We are carrying out a number of enquiries relating to these offences and these investigations will continue over the coming days. We are speaking to witnesses, carrying out forensic enquiries, looking at CCTV footage and ensuring each victim is spoken to by a Design Out Crime Officer for crime prevention advice. The theft of these power tools will cause a great deal of distress, upheaval and inconvenience to those who have had their vehicles broken into – in the vast majority of these cases we are talking about the livelihoods of these victims being disrupted due to the actions of those responsible.
“We would remind tradesmen and van owners to check their vehicles are locked and windows are secure when leaving them unattended to help minimise the risk of being targeted by thieves.
“If possible, work equipment, expensive tools and any other valuables should also be removed and left in a secure location elsewhere. Keep note of the serial numbers of your tools, or engrave them to ensure they are identifiable as yours. Deter thieves by backing your van close to a wall when parking and ensure it is alarmed and parked either in a garage or a well-lit, public area.”
If you are offered tools in suspicious circumstances, please do not buy them and let police know immediately via 101. You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Van owners are also advised to register their tools for free at www.immobilise.com by taking note of the serial numbers and models, and to use ultraviolet pen to (invisibly) mark their property, which increases the chances of having them returned to you in the event of being lost or stolen.