Police are investigating a series of thefts from motor vehicles that took place across Suffolk over the weekend.
In all of the incidents from Saturday 5 October upto the early hours of this morning (Monday 7 October) the offenders were targeting vans for power-tools.
Over this period around 40 incidents of theft from motor vehicles were reported in Suffolk and on the Suffolk/Essex border, The offenders have 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.
Van drivers should also consider the following measures to reduce the risk of being a victim of crime:
• Always lock all doors & 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