Van owners are being urged to review their security and remove valuable items from vehicles following a spate of thefts in Watford.
Since Tuesday 1 November, there have been nine offences of theft from motor vehicles reported in the Tudor ward.
Tools totalling thousands of pounds in value have been stolen.
PC Aaron George, from the Watford Scorpion Team, said: “Tool thefts have a huge impact on victims, as it often leaves them unable to work, affecting their livelihood. We’re doing all we can to prevent these incidents from happening and have increased patrols.
“However, we’re also asking members of the public to help us by reviewing their security and taking some simple steps to better protect their vehicles and tools.
“The best way to do this is to remove all tools and valuables from vehicles when leaving them unattended, especially overnight. I appreciate this isn’t always easy, but it will stop an opportunist thief from having easy access to your property.
“If you witness any suspicious activity around vehicles, please call 999 straight away to give us the best possible chance of catching offenders in the act. If you have been a victim, please ensure you report to police, so that we can build up an intelligence picture and adapt our patrol plans as necessary.”
The constabulary offers the following advice to van owners:
Double check that you have locked your van and all of the windows are closed properly.
If possible, park in areas near CCTV and door bell cameras.
Try to park close to a hedge or wall in order to restrict access to your van.
Consider having additional locks fitted as well as an alarm.
Consider investing in a lockable cabinet within your van to store your tools.
Ensure your tools are marked clearly with your name/company name and postcode using paint pens and seal with a clear lacquer spray or use property marking systems. This makes your tools more difficult to sell on and therefore less desirable to thieves.
Take pictures of valuable items, record serial numbers and consider registering them online at a property register site.