40 vehicles targeted by power tool thieves over weekend
PUBLISHED: 17:27 07 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:27 07 October 2019
Thieves targeted around 40 vehicles for power tools across Suffolk over the weekend by drilling doors and windows to gain access.
The series of break-ins happened in places such as Walsham le Willows, Wyverstone, Lavenham, Great Waldringfield, Cavendish and Clare, Ixworth and Needham Market from Saturday until the early hours of Monday.
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.
"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.
Information obtained under Freedom of Information (FoI) laws revealed there have been more than 800 incidents of tool theft from motor vehicles in Suffolk during the past three years.
Last year Suffolk police launched the 'Get Tool Smart' campaign in a bid to reduce thefts of high value tools in the county.
"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."
'It's my livelihood' - Carpenter speaks out
Carpenter and non-league footballer Tom Bullard saw around £2,500 worth of tools stolen from his van earlier this year.
Mr Bullard, 32, who plays for Stowmarket Town FC, saw various Makita tools stolen from his Renault Trafic van which was parked outside his Ipswich home.
The former Bury Town FC and Leiston FC player said his tools were taken overnight on Friday, July 18.
"My van was parked outside my house backed close to a lamppost," he said.
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"When I went out the next morning, I saw the side door ajar and they had taken all of my Makita tools, drills, jigsaws and my Paslode nail guns.
"There was no forced entry so I don't know how they got in because I know I locked it.
"It's my livelihood at the end of the day, if I don't work I don't get paid."
Van owners are 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