Police are warning van owners to empty them at night after no less than 14 thefts took place in the area recently.
The force said van owners who park their vehicles overnight without removing the contents, that they could be making themselves a target for criminals.
The warning comes after 14 thefts from unattended vans in Ilkeston and surrounding areas of Erewash in the last month.
The vast majority of these thefts have involved the removal of high value tools and plant equipment.
Inspector Katie Andrews, who is in charge of policing in the area, said: “We are very much aware that some of these vans are carrying a high value of tools and so it seems do the criminals who are targeting them.
“Ideally, vans should be parked in a locked, alarmed garage overnight. If this is not possible then high value contents should be removed. We realise that some people may feel like the last thing they want to do at the end of a hard day’s work but please consider doing so as there can be nothing worse than returning to the van in the morning and realising expensive tools have been stolen.”
The following advice has been issued to van owners:
- Whenever possible, remove tools, stock and other equipment from the van, especially when leaving it overnight.
- Park in busy, well-lit areas and if possible covered by CCTV.
- Consider parking with the rear or side doors obstructed so entry and exit is made more difficult.
- Many vans will come with an alarm as standard, ensure the vehicle alarm is set when unattended.
- Always lock doors and close the windows when you are away from the vehicle, even for a short time.
- Take photographs of tools and equipment, together with the serial numbers so that any found items can be identified.
Inspector Andrews added: “We are determined to continue to work hard to catch those responsible and bring them to justice as we realise how costly this is for those that have items stolen, not just to replace the items but also in potential of loss of earning whilst new items are being purchased. What we would ask is that van owners take some simple steps to help us help them.”
For more information or advice contact your Safer Neighbourhood team on 101, send them a message online by visiting the Contact Us section of our website here or visit www.derbyshire.police.uk/safetyadvice
Attached above is a leaflet with some basic crime prevention advice for owners of vans.