Police appeal after theft from van


Police are appealing for witnesses after thieves stole electrical gardening items from an unlocked van in Olney on Tuesday afternoon.

Between 12pm and 5pm offenders got into a white Peugeot Expert van after it was left unlocked, in Church Street. They stole an orange/white Stihl HS81R hedge trimmer and an orange/white Stihl BG86 leaf blower.

Thames Valley Police is asking motorists to make it tough for the opportunist thief and cut down on the amount of thefts from motor vehicles.

Sergeant Andy Paulden, of Newport Pagnell police station, said: “Often people invite thieves to take an interest in their vehicle by leaving valuable items in open view. Thieves also know that people leave laptops and bags in the boots of their cars so it’s not safe to leave anything valuable in your car.

“I urge anyone who may have been a victim of vehicle crime or may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the area to report it as soon as possible.

“Unfortunately the majority of tools are not easily traceable as they are not security marked with the owners’ postcodes and business names. We strongly advise that tools are visibly and permanently marked with these details by engraving or etching. Property marking also acts as a deterrent to thieves who have to cause permanent damage to remove the marking, making it difficult to sell these items on.

“In addition to ensuring that tools are locked away whenever they are not being used, we also advise that alarms are fitted to vans and outbuildings containing tools and that the alarm is set whenever they are not occupied.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to warn anyone who is offered cheap tools for sale not to buy them as they may be stolen and that handling stolen goods is not only a criminal offence, but it also fuels the demand and increases crime.”

Any potential witnesses can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Tips to avoid becoming a victim of car crime:

Always park in a well lit area

Lock all your doors and close your windows

Never leave anything valuable in your car, as it only takes a few seconds for a thief to smash your window

Do not leave a jacket or coat on display in your car. A thief may think that it’s hiding your laptop or handbag.

Residents also have the option of setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme to help to try and prevent other thefts and to ensure that your car is not an appealing target for a thief; for further information on setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme please go to www.ourwatch.org.uk.

Here are some basic principles which will help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime:

Look out for your neighbours when they are not home. If you see anything suspicious report it to the police and inform your neighbour.

Ensure your car is always left locked and secure.

Do not leave possessions in your car, whether valuable or not. A thief wouldn’t know the bag left on the back seat only contains a gym kit for example.

Remove sat navs from your car, including the cradle and the suction mark from the window. A thief will expect to find it hidden in the glove compartment or under the seat!

For any further information or advice please contact your Local Neighbourhood Team on 101 or visit {http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/crprev|The crime prevention site