Van owners are warned to be on their guard after thieves targeted tools left inside vehicles in the last few days.
Five vehicles parked in locations across Hart District were targeted – and all had valuable tools stolen, causing distress and inconvenience for their owners.
Please take care to remove tools from vehicles overnight wherever possible and take note of the crime prevention advice below.
We are also asking members of the public to get in touch if they are offered goods or tools in suspicious circumstances.
Between 7.30am and 12.30pm on October 9, two vehicles parked in Hook Road, Hook, were broken into. One of them, a Renault Traffic van, had damage caused to the rear door and handle and a bag of power tools was stolen.
Between the same times, a Renault Kangoo van was also broken into while parked in Hook Road. The front window was smashed and the rear door damaged but nothing was stolen.
At around 9pm on October 9, a Ford Transit van parked on a driveway in Westover Road, Fleet, was broken into and an 85 Stihl hedge cutter with no chain guard and Stihl 023 chain saw with orange chain guard were stolen from within. Both are orange, white and black in colour. The tools had been chained into the vehicle but cut away and stolen. No damage was caused to the vehicle so it is not known how access was gained.
Two suspects were disturbed by the victims opening the front door and ran to a vehicle, possibly a small dark blue saloon, which drove off.
Between 6.30pm on October 7 and 8.30am on October 8, suspects have forced entry to the side door of a Ford Transit van that had been parked in the Travelodge car park in Cove Road, Fleet.
The suspects have stolen a number of De Walt power tools: a battery pin gun, an impact driver, combi drill, multi tool, box containing two De Walt battery chargers, five De Walt 18v batteries, jigsaw, SDS drill and a box of assorted hand tools.
Between 8pm and 8.30pm on October 7, suspects haven smashed the rear window of an Iveco van parked at the Ely Hotel in London Road, Camberley.
They have stolen a number of tools including a chain saw, two grinders, two jigsaws, two impact drivers, a circular saw, two cable crimpers, two drills, a cable cutter and 20 batteries.
If you have any information about these crimes – or if you are offered tools in suspicious circumstances, please call 101 quoting 44190361839.
Vans are often targeted by opportunistic thieves who are looking for valuable tools. Here are a few simple tips to help secure your van and its contents:
It might sound obvious, but make sure you lock the doors and shut the windows whenever you leave your van unattended.
Never leave any valuables visible - keep ALL possessions out of sight. Even if you know that there is nothing valuable in your jacket pocket or file left on the seat, a thief may try their luck.
Remove tools from your van when left over night
If removal of tools is not possible, fit a tool safe and ensure it is fully secured with good quality locks.
Consider parking your van close to a hedge or wall in order to restrict access for anyone trying to get inside.
Engrave or mark tools and their boxes with your postcode and house number.
Fit additional locks to van doors.
If you park on your driveway consider installing motion-activated CCTV • Be vigilant when unloading • Mark all tools with a forensic property marking solution • Set an alarm or immobiliser • Register tools for free at www.immobilise.com.
HELP US TO STOP VAN CRIME.
If you see anything suspicious please call 101. If you believe a crime is in progress, always call 999.
If you have any information about van crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.