Police are urging owners of commercial vans to stay vigilant following a series of reported thefts or attempted thefts from commercial vans across West Suffolk.
From Monday, July 25, to Wednesday, August 3, there have been 17 such reports.
Fifteen incidents saw actual thefts from vehicles and in all cases a variety of power tools and DIY equipment were taken, while the other two incidents saw two incidents of interference with motor vehicles.
All of them took place overnight and six incidents took place in Stowmarket, five in Bury St Edmunds, three in Sudbury two in Haverhill and one in Cavendish. In five of the incidents the lock of the vehicle had been drilled before the items were taken.
Enquiries into the crimes are on-going and police are linking them.
Sgt Luke Allard of Stowmarket police said: “The effects of these crimes are significant and have huge impacts on victims, businesses and their families. We would like to encourage people to report suspicious activity, remain vigilant and revisit the security in place around their vans and tools.
“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.
If you are offered tools in suspicious circumstances or see suspicious activity, let police know via 101 or going online> https://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something/2-report-it-theft
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.
Van drivers should also consider the following measures to reduce the risk of being a victim of crime:
- Always lock all doors and shut windows, physically checking van doors are locked;
- Park in a garage or secure area where possible;
- Park with the doors against a wall;
- If you park on your driveway consider installing motion activated CCTV;
- Be particularly aware when unloading;
- Remove tools from the van if possible;
- To increase the security of tools, you can bolt either a cage or box to the base of the van which should be secured with a sturdy close shackle padlock to reduce and deter further incidents;
- Setting an alarm or immobiliser will make it more difficult for the offender;
- Consider upgrading locks/fitting additional protection;
- Information on police approved products can be found at www.securedbydesign.com