Police are issuing crime prevention advice to van owners in Milton Keynes following multiple thefts of power tools.
Between January and September 2018, officers received 234 reports of tool thefts from vans.
Operation Detract is a new initiative from the problem solving team in Milton Keynes focussed on tackling the issue of theft of tools from vans by disrupting and identifying offenders.
A police spokesman said: “These offences have a huge impact on the victims, many of whom depend on power tools for their livelihood in the trade.”
The team will conduct overt and covert patrols of areas most frequently targeted by thieves as well as activity based on intelligence provided by members of the public and information from crime reports in the local area. It is hoped that this work may also lead to the recovery of stolen property that can be returned to their rightful owners.
You can help to deter thieves and reduce your risk of becoming a victim of tool theft from your van by following these steps:
Remove all valuables and tools overnight
Lock your vehicle when it is unattended, even if you are only leaving it for a moment
Park against a wall and in a busy, well-lit area
Use dead locks or security cages to further secure your van
Consider installing CCTV
It is important to tag or mark your tools as this gives us the best chance of reuniting you with them if they are stolen:
Take a photo of the serial number or identifying marks
Use a unique tamperproof sticker
Engrave your initials or a memorable word
Use an ultraviolet pen
Register your tools and serial numbers on a national database such as Immobilise
Remember to mark your batteries too
A dedicated email address has been created for information regarding suspicious circumstances and tool sales to be sent to the team. Officers want to hear about individuals selling tools door to door, out of the back of vans and any suspicious or large sales of tools at car boot sales.
You can contact the team using firstname.lastname@example.org
Crimes should continue to be reported either by using the online form on our website or by calling 101. If a crime is in progress then call 999.