Are you a Tradesperson or have a friend or relative that is routinely carrying and storing the tools of their trade in a van? If so, please be vigilant - especially if the van is sign written and may be advertising what tools and equipment are on board.
Criminals are continuing to target vans for the tools and equipment that may be carried within them. These are often organised gangs of thieves who have the means of disposing of hundreds of individual power tools.
Although offenders often manage to strike unnoticed and have made off before victims discover the thefts, the Police still want to hear from anyone who has been affected by this and to obtain any available CCTV, dash cam and video doorbell footage. Please ensure you report any thefts, van alarm activations or suspicious incidents either online at www.thamesvalley.police.uk or by calling 101.
Don’t let your van be a target, please consider the following crime prevention advice:
· Empty your van of all tools and valuables when unattended, if possible.
· Always close and lock your van doors and fit them with robust deadlocks.
· Fit your van with a vehicle intruder alarm system.
· Fit a Dashcam system that activates when the vehicle is approached.
· Store tools in robust and secured containers within the van.
· Keep a list of your tools and their serial numbers and mark them so you can readily recognise them when on site, but also so police can identify them as stolen if they are found in someone else’s possession.
· Check whether your van insurance covers the theft of your tools at all times, as some policies may have exclusions during certain time periods.
· Park in well-lit and overlooked areas (most offenders don’t want to be seen) and park to restrict access to the rear and side doors, if possible.
· If you park your van on a private driveway or the road outside your home, consider installing a video doorbell or CCTV that will monitor the parked vehicle.
If you have any information relating to crime in your neighbourhood, or about those committing these thefts you can contact the Police online at www.thamesvalley.police.uk or by phoning 101.
Alternatively you can provide information anonymously and free of charge by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers UK online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/ or by phoning 0800 555 111.
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