Van owners' warning after spate of Derbyshire thefts

Derbyshire Constabulary

Derbyshire Constabulary

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Van owners urged to be alert following thefts from vehicles in the Amber Valley and North East Derbyshire

We are urging local van owners and drivers to be alert and improve security following recent thefts from these types of vehicles in the Amber Valley and North East Derbyshire areas.

During the past month more than 20 reports have been received of vans which have been broken into, with items such as tools, mobile phones and cash stolen.

The incidents have happened throughout the area, including in South Normanton, Swanwick, Heanor, Loscoe and Langley Mill in the Amber Valley.

In North East Derbyshire, vehicles parked in Dronfield, Coal Aston, Eckington, Killamarsh, Clowne, Barlborough, Shirebrook, New Houghton, Blackwell, Morton and Stonebroom have been targeted.

Inspector Rob Bowns, who is in charge of the community safety and vulnerability unit for North Division said: “Enquiries are currently being carried out into these crimes and residents are urged to report any suspicious activity to police. Patrols are being carried out and officers are speaking to motorists, particularly van owners, about boosting their security.

“We would advise people to remove all valuables, including tools, from vehicles overnight and to store them securely. Drivers are also urged to double check that vehicles are locked, the windows are up and any alarms are activated, even if they are leaving their van for just a short time.”

Motorists are also advised to:

Wipe away any visible marks left behind by a phone cradle or sat nav;

Park in busy, well-lit areas, if possible covered by CCTV;

If it is absolutely not possible to remove tools and valuables from the vehicle completely, make sure they are out of view from passers-by;

Consider parking with the rear or side doors obstructed to make entry more difficult;

Security mark all of your valuables to help make them easily identified and traceable. This also makes them less attractive to thieves;

Take photographs of tools and equipment, and record the serial numbers as this can also help items to be traced back to their rightful owner;

Remain alert and report any suspicious activity to police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

For more advice on crime prevention please contact your local Safer Neighbourhood policing team on 101, or you can message your team through the website: www.derbyshire.police.uk.

You can also pass on information about crime anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.