Officers in West Cumbria are urging the public to be vigilant following a spate of thefts from vehicles in the Silloth area.
Police have received seven reports of theft that occurred overnight (between January 10 and 11) after vans were targeted and tools stolen.
An old-style, light-coloured X-Trail type vehicle was seen in the area and officers are appealing for information on the movements of this vehicle.
Acting Detective Sergeant Sam Johnson said: “Enquiries are ongoing this morning to investigate a number of reported thefts from motor vehicles. We believe that vans are being targeted by criminals for tools.
“We would like anyone with information on an X-Trail type vehicle which was seen overnight in the area. I’d also encourage anyone else who has had their vehicle targeted or has had property stolen to report it to us so we can investigate.
“Tool theft is anything but a victimless crime – it not only hurts financially in terms of replacement tools, but also lost work for those who require them as part of their job. I’d ask everyone to be vigilant and follow the advice we are issuing to protect your possessions.”
Security advice includes:
- If possible avoid leaving tools in a vehicle overnight and even when on a job.
- Park your van in a garage or well-lit area.
- Keep tools out of sight and locked in a secure storage container or chained to the chassis.
- Consider installing an alarm and an immobiliser.
- Mark your tools. Visible markings may deter some criminals. There are also high-tech solutions like DataTag, Smartwater or SelectDNA for marking more expensive equipment.
- Register your equipment with national property register, Immobilise. This can assist in returning any equipment that is stolen.
- Report suspicious activity.
Anyone with information on these thefts is asked to contact police on 101 and ask to speak to PC Hein Van Der Westhuizen. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.