There have been 25 reported thefts from vans in January, prompting police to issue warnings over security.
The figures for thefts in September, October, November and December were one, three, nine and ten respectively, say police.
Det Sgt Paul Killingley, based at Milton Keynes Local CID, said: “With the darker nights we normally expect to see the number of thefts from motor vehicles increase and this is exactly what has happened.
“It is therefore even more important than normal for motorists to lock their vehicles and double-check that they have done so. There are also some other simple steps you can take to make yourself less likely to be a victim.”
The following advice is provided for all van owners to help safeguard their tools and equipment.
> Register your tools – register your tools on Immobilise (opens new window), the national property register, where you can record makes, models, serial numbers etc.
> operty marking – security mark your tools to deter criminals, either engrave or obviously mark the tools with a permanent marker or paint, with your postcode and house number. Also use an ultraviolet pen to covertly mark the tools or use a covert product such as Smartwater (opens new window) or Selecta DNA (opens new window).
> Secure your vehicle – ensure your vehicle is secure and locked when not in use. Consider additional locks specific to vans. Further information can be found on the internet.
> Leave your vehicle empty – if possible remove all valuable tools overnight.
> Alarm your vehicle – have an alarm fitted to your vehicle if there isn’t one already fitted.
> Park in a secure area – if possible park in busy, visible, secure areas. Try to park with the rear doors close to a building, garage door etc to make gaining access more difficult.
> nstall internal security – consider installing a robustly locked internal metal cage, tool store/box. A moveable store or box must be well secured to the vehicle.
There is also further crime prevention advice on the Thames Valley Police website. For tips on protecting tools in vans, follow us @tvp_mk
If you have any information on crime, you can contact Crimestoppers (opens new window) anonymously on 0800 555111 or Thames Valley Police on 101.