Van thieves instigate a crime wave in the West Country

Van drivers in the South West, are being urged to take extra care with their security measures following a spate of robberies from vehicles in the area.

Avon and Somerset police force, have revealed that over 30 van related thefts have been reported in the last few weeks. The thieves appear to be operating from vans themselves and are targeting building sites, building suppliers and large DIY stores.

Eye witnesses say the thieves are caucasian males and are dressed as building workers, wearing fluorescent jackets to blend in with the tradesmen buying or delivering supplies to the depots. It also seems likely they are a professional outfit as some of the crimes are committed in a matter of seconds, tradesmen are returning to their vans within minutes and finding their tools and supplies gone.

Avon police say several areas of Bristol have been hit by the crimes including, Filton, Thornbury, Eastville and Downend. In the latest incident the thieves actually made away with a Mercedes van while the driver was out of the cab delivering a parcel.

Van drivers in the area should take all sensible security precautions. Always turn off the engine when getting out of the vehicle, always lock the van when making a delivery and if materials are carried on the outside of the vehicle try and park in a highly visible area near the front of the shop. Not only do these measures make sense, they are usually a requisite part of a commercial vehicle insurance policy.

Van drivers can also make the thief’s job more difficult by visibly identifying their tools and possessions with permanent marker pens; this makes the stolen goods more difficult to sell on.