Spate of tool thefts from vans in St Albans area

POLICE are urging van drivers to remove all tools and valuables from their vehicles following a spate of recent thefts.

In the past two days alone over a dozen thefts have been reported to police in St Albans, Harpenden and Redbourn whereby the thieves have gained access to the back of vans and stolen power tools.

DC Gemma Badat from the Local Crime Unit said: “There has been an increase of offences of this nature over the past couple of weeks and we are thoroughly investigating them. They are mostly occurring during the evening and overnight, and it is vans which contain high value power tools that are specifically being targeted.

“Many of the victims will use the tools for their work, which can be incredibly inconvenient. You can prevent yourself from becoming a victim by removing these items, or anything else of value from your vehicle. That way, if thieves break in, there is nothing for them to steal. It seems common sense advice but it is amazing how many people become complacent and leave these items in their vans.”

Police are also asking people using the car park opposite the Scout Hut in Sandridgebury Lane, St Albans, to pay particular attention to crime prevention advice following five incidents of theft or attempted thefts from vehicles in the past month.

Officers patrolling the area have seen a number of cars with their windows left slightly open which poses the greatest opportunity for thieves.

Van drivers have been issued with the following advice:

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• It might sound obvious, but make sure you lock the doors and shut the windows and sunroof whenever you leave your vehicle unattended.

• Remove your Sat Nav and its holder, and wipe away any suction marks as these could suggest to a potential thief that a Sat Nav is stored in your vehicle.

• Never leave any valuables in your vehicle – not even in the glove-box or boot – and keep all other possessions out of sight.

• Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp, and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have them.

• Register your stereo, Sat Nav and any other property on the free online property database It only takes a few minutes and could help police trace your property if it’s lost or stolen.

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