Lowestoft police urge vigilance after van break-ins
Suffolk Police is encouraging members of the public to report suspicious behaviour following a series of thefts from motor vehicles that have taken place in the east of the county, predominantly in Lowestoft, over the last month.
-On Southwell Road, between Thursday 14 May at 7pm and Friday 15 May at 8.15am a van window was smashed and a power tool stolen.
-On Friday 15 May at 10.50pm, offenders attempted to break into a van on Adrian Court.
-Overnight from Saturday 16 May to Sunday 17 May, a van was broken into on Leas Drift and tools stolen.
-On Tuesday 19 May between approximately 8.30pm and 10.30pm two drills were stolen from an insecure van on Market Street in Beccles.
Further offences have since occurred on Rotterdam Road on Friday 22 May where a van was broken into and tools stolen, on the same day on Europa Road a van was broken into but nothing stolen, while on Tuesday 26 May a van was broken into on Newcombe Road and tools stolen.
On Whapload Road on Wednesday 27 May attempts were made to break in to five vans with nothing stolen, meanwhile on Church Road on Friday 29 May a van was broken into but nothing stolen, while on Wilde Street also on Friday29 May three vans were broken into but, again, nothing was stolen.
Inspector Claire Simons from Lowestoft police said: "Reporting suspicious activity and crimes in progress to police is vital to gathering evidence to prevent further offending taking place. The effects of these crimes are significant and have huge impacts on victims, businesses and their families. We would like to encourage people to report suspicious activity, remain vigilant and revisit the security in place around their vans and tools.
"We’ve updated our First Principle advice on the Suffolk Police website, and would encourage people to read our helpful guidance on reporting suspicious activity on how to deter thieves and keep property safe.”
"If possible, work equipment, expensive tools and any other valuables should also be removed and left in a secure location elsewhere. Keep note of the serial numbers of your tools, or engrave them to ensure they are identifiable as yours.
"Deter thieves by backing your van close to a wall when parking and ensure it is alarmed and parked either in a garage or a well-lit, public area.”
If you are offered tools in suspicious circumstances, please do not buy them and let police know immediately via 101. You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
Van owners are also advised to register their tools for free at www.immobilise.com by taking note of the serial numbers and models, and to use ultraviolet pen to (invisibly) mark their property, which increases the chances of having them returned to you in the event of being lost or stolen.
Van drivers should also consider the following measures to reduce the risk of being a victim of crime:
• Always lock all doors & shut windows, physically checking van doors are locked.
• Park in a garage or secure area where possible.
• Park with the doors against a wall.
• If you park on your driveway consider installing motion activated CCTV.
• Be particularly aware when unloading.
• Remove tools from the van if possible.
• To increase the security of tools, you can bolt either a cage or box to the base of the van which should be secured with a sturdy close shackle padlock to reduce and deter further incidents.
• Setting an alarm or immobiliser will make it more difficult for the offender.
• Consider upgrading locks/fitting additional protection.
• Information on Police approved products can be found at www.securedbydesign.com
Small business owners can also benefit from revised guidance and checklists issued on the website.
The new guidance can be found under ‘coronavirus small business’ heading on the First Principle webpage.
First Principle is a new library of crime prevention, security and personal safety advice. http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z