Van Owners Urged To Be Vigilant Following Spate Of Tool Thefts 07/04/2017

Police are urging van owners to be vigilant and take extra measures to ensure their tools are secure following a spate of thefts.

The most recent incident happened in Wyke Road, Trowbridge, overnight between midnight on 5 April and 6.30 on 6 April. A Ford Transit was broken into and tools to the value of almost £3,000 were stolen. This included a De Walt nail gun, Makita jigsaw, angle grinders, battery chargers, two Attachi circular saws, Makita drill, A De Walt jigsaw and drill bits.

Between 4pm on 5 April and 8.30am on 6 April, a Ford Transit was broken into in Gloucester Road, Trowbridge, and a variety of hand held tools were stolen including a Makitta hammer drill and impact driver and an orange tool bag containing various tools.

Tools were stolen from a Ford Transit in Mills Road at approximately 11pm on 1 April.

A Ford Transit was broken into between 10.15am and 12.15pm on 29 March in Furlong Gardens. The van was open at the time while the owner cleaning his patio. Items to the value of £5,000 were stolen including an orange Hesqualer disc cutter and a Lasermark laser level.

A door to a wooden shed in a garden in Shaw Hill was broken into at 4.30pm on 26 March and a rotavator, hand gardening tools and new Wolf combined tool kit was stolen.

Between 5pm on 28 March and 9.30am on 29 March, a Ford Transit van was broken into in Plants Green, Warminster and commercial power tools to the value of approximately £1,400 were stolen including a Festool plunge saw, a Dewalt router, cordless drills and a Dewalt jigsaw.

Between 3.30pm on 20 March and 6.15am on 21 March, a Ford Transit in The Old Brewery Newtown in Bradford on Avon and on the same day, a Ford Transit was broken into in Bond Street, Trowbridge, with tools stolen including chain saws, nail gun, drills and angle grinders.

And between 6pm on 19 March and 5.30pm on 20 March, a secure container unit at a site off Holt Road was broken into and a large number of hand tools and site tools were stolen. In total, the items were worth between £2,000 and £3,000.

Community Coordinator Alex Trombetta said: “It’s really important that van owners remove tools and valuables from their vehicles at night or when vehicles are left unattended.

“It may seem obvious but we are continuing to see thefts of this nature – the message is simple, please remove all valuables, including tools, from vehicles at night or when they are left unattended. Many of the victims in these incidents are self-employed and have been hit hard by the loss of their tools as it is preventing them from earning a living. If it’s valuable to you, please remove it.

“I’d like to appeal to anyone who may have been sold tools recently – please check the battery compartments as many items that have been stolen are engraved with the initials of the owner internally, on the battery. If you think you may have been sold these items, please call police on 101. Likewise, if you have seen these items for sale online, please let us know via 101.

“Please take care when carrying out work in your driveway or garden – don’t leave vehicle boots or shed doors open with tools on display. It only takes a matter of seconds for an opportunist thief to strike.

“The following advice may help motorists reduce their chances of falling victim to this type of crime:
“Don’t leave any valuables on display including laptops, satnavs, mobile phones, handbags, credit cards or vehicle documents in your van/car. If it is unavoidable – place them in the boot and ensure that any electrical equipment is switched off.
“Clean satnav suction marks off your windscreen, as leaving them is an immediate advert to thieves that a satnav is in the vehicle. Make sure no satnav attachments are left visible in your vehicle.

“If you own a van, make sure you remove your tools overnight and display an appropriate sign in the rear window making this clear.”