More than 900 vans broken into in the last six months across Leicestershire and Rutland
More than 900 vans have been broken into in the last six months as police urge tradespeople to not leave tools in the vehicle over night.
The figures have come from Leicestershire Police, with all incidents recorded taking place across Leicestershire and Rutland as the force estimate that thousands of pounds worth of tools have been stolen.
Since May 2017, 939 vans have been broken into with 168 in October and 113 in August.
Police warn van owners that even if the vehicle is locked, some offenders are still able to break in with no signs of a forced entry by using a device which overrides the van's locking system.
The force are now encouraging tradespeople to store tools and other equipment in a safe and securing place overnight, rather than leaving them inside their vehicle.
'Operation Pioneer' is also underway as the force respond to the increase in crime and neighbourhood officers are working with specialist departments to find and arrest those responsible.
Inspector Simon Preston, the lead for vehicle crime, said
The force have provided van owners with this advice:
Removing all tools from vehicles overnight
Purchasing a sign advising that no tools are left in your van overnight
Park your vehicle in a garage if you have one
Consider alarming the vehicle or fitting an internal security cage if you park on a drive
Installing security lights
Visibly mark your machinery and tools if possible
Park your vehicle close to a wall so that the doors cannot be opened
Leicestershire Police request that any suspicious activity is reported to them immediately by calling 101.