Hundreds of tools recovered and arrests made as part of county-wide tool theft investigation
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Our investigation into a series of tool thefts across the county continues, and we have arrested a number of suspects and seized hundreds of suspected stolen tools.
Since August this year we have received more than 100 reports in Hampshire of vans being broken into and tools being taken from within.
These offences are primarily concentrated around the east of the county and up the A3 corridor, taking place when it’s dark in the evenings or overnight, but we have seen offences all over Hampshire. Areas targeted include:
As part of our enquiries, we have arrested four people as follows:
A 24-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal from a motor vehicle. She has been bailed with conditions until 27 February pending further enquiries.
A 60-year-old man from Surrey arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal from a motor vehicle. He has been bailed with conditions until 28 February pending further enquiries.
A 26-year-old man from Bedfordshire arrested on suspicion of theft. He has been bailed with conditions until 27 February pending further enquiries.
A 26-year-old man from Buckinghamshire arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods. He has been bailed with conditions until 1 March pending further enquiries.
We’ve attached an image of a large haul of tools we seized on 30 November at a market stall in West London, and our efforts remain ongoing to actively track down the owners to reunite them with their goods.
What we have noticed is that a number of the tools we have seized have not been marked. Our plea to tool owners is to protectively mark your equipment so that if it is ever lost or stolen, it can be easily returned to you when it’s found.
Please take the time to read the following crime prevention advice in full, and please share this with professional groups and contacts you may have, especially if you are a self-employed tradesperson in the areas affected:
Wherever possible remove your tools from your vehicle and store securely overnight.
Mark the tools clearly with your name/company name and address using paint pens and seal with a clear lacquer spray. Other property marking systems are available.
Consider using smart/GPS tags on high value items to enable them to be tracked.
Use a lockable cabinet within your van to store the tools during the day.
Use a small camera designed to record within vehicles.
Take photographs of items of value, making a note of the serial numbers and registering them online at a property register site.