A spate of van thefts in Hastings and Rother has prompted a police appeal for information and advice on how to stop them.
Recent weeks have seen four thefts of and from Ford Transit and similar types of van and it is believed the vehicles are being targeted while parked and unattended overnight.
Inspector Anita Turner, of the Hastings neighbourhood policing team, said: “Unfortunately we’ve seen a rise in this type of offence.
“We’re working hard to investigate them and identify those responsible, so any information from witnesses would be welcome.”
Insp Turner said van owners are being urged to pay extra attention to security and released some tips on how to put off the thieves.
“That means not keeping valuables or expensive tools in vehicles overnight and to consider fitting additional security, such as steering locks and alarms, “ she said.
“Vehicles should be fully secured, even if left for only a brief time, and any theft of number plates should be reported to police without delay.”
Further police tips to thwart thieves include:
• Not keeping the engine running while leaving a vehicle to defrost. Not only is this illegal but it offers a golden opportunity for thieves
• Don’t leave coats and jackets on show
• Remove satnav and camera suction marks from windscreens – they are an immediate giveaway that such devices may be in the vehicle
• Empty glove-boxes and leave them open to show that they don’t contain anything valuable
• As well as removing tools, display a sign indicating that they are not stored inside the vehicle
Anyone with information about thefts of or from vans is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 101.
Alternatively details can be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
Or contact Sussex Police online at www.sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal
If a crime is in progress or apparently about to take place, do not hesitate to call 999 and ask for police.
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