Van drivers have been warned to make sure their vehicles are secure after an increase in tool thefts in the Royal Borough.
At the start of September, Thames Valley Police issued a warning about tool thefts after the number of recorded incidents in the area more than doubled in August (26 offences) when compared to July (12 offences).
Since the start of September, several more thefts from vans have been reported, while overall 46 thefts from vehicles have been recorded.
The force has also seen an increase in the number of laptops and bags stolen after being left on display or, in some cases, when the vehicle is left unsecured.
Det Insp Peter Wall, based at Windsor and Maidenhead Local CID, said: “Motorists need to be aware that there is a continuing trend of theft from motor vehicles across the LPA [local policing area] which has continued for approximately six weeks now, and this is not the first time we have warned motorists about this.
“Vans are particularly at risk as they are being targeted by thieves looking to steal tools. It’s important that drivers ensure that they keep their vehicles secure and that tools are not stored in vans overnight.
“It is stating the obvious, but do not leave anything on display including satnavs, bags or coats, as clearly these are typical targets for thieves. Unfortunately, drivers still leave these items in full view. Also I would encourage members of the public to take bags and laptops with them rather than leaving them in the boot of their vehicle. In such cases thieves often observe the items being placed in the boot before stealing them once the owner has gone”.
If you have tools in your van and do not have the facility to remove these on an evening, think about having additional key-operated locks fitted to rear and side doors. Consider fitting a secure lockable cage or strong box within the vehicle, if you don’t want to remove everything each time you leave.
Thames Valley Police has also offered the following advice:
Register your tools – register your tools on Immobilise (opens new window) the national property register where you can record makes, models, serial numbers etc.
Property marking – security mark your tools to deter criminals, either engrave or obviously mark the tools with a permanent marker or paint, with your postcode and house number. Also use an ultraviolet pen to covertly mark the tools or use a covert product such as Smartwater or Selecta DNA
Secure your vehicle – ensure your vehicle is secure and locked when not in use. Consider additional locks specific to vans. Further information can be found on the internet.
Leave your vehicle empty – if possible remove all valuable tools overnight.
Alarm your vehicle – have an alarm fitted to your vehicle if there isn’t one already fitted.
Park in a secure area – if possible park in busy, visible, secure areas. Try to park with the rear doors close to a building, garage door etc to make gaining access more difficult.
Install internal security – consider installing a robustly locked internal metal cage, tool store/box. A moveable store or box must be well secured to the vehicle.
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