Van drivers in East Lancashire have been told to keep a wary eye on their vehicles this week as a spate of robberies and arson attacks have resulted in at least half a dozen vehicles covered by van insurance being damaged.
The crimes have all occurred in the Burnley and Barnoldswick area of the county and local police say at least four vans were broken into inside 12 hours. The thieves seem to have been on the lookout for expensive tools to sell on and three of the vehicles had valuable equipment stolen from them. The thieves stole a power drill valued at £150 from one van, while a van parked up in Byron Street had two electric drills, an electrical testing unit and three showers stolen from it. The owner estimated the value of the goods at around £680. A third van had an aluminium ladder taken from its roof in nearby Harrison Street but thieves left empty handed when breaking into a fourth van as the owner had taken his equipment out of the vehicle.
Investigating Officer, Kim De Curtis, said “We’re warning all motorists not to leave their tools or ladders in your van overnight.” Meanwhile down the road in Burnley two vans were burned to a shell in what fire and rescue services presumed to be arson attacks. The two vans were set alight within ten minutes of each other in the early evening. Both vans were parked in pub car parks, one outside the Lanes Ends Pub in Kiddrow Lane and the other outside the Hare and Hounds Pub in Halifax Road.
The fire crew attending the incidents are still not sure if they were connected but are asking commercial vehicle drivers to beef up their security where at all possible.