Police warning after thefts from vans in Potters Bar

PUBLISHED: 15:26 14 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:32 14 April 2016

Power tools were taken following a number of thefts from vans in Potters Bar

Power tools were taken following a number of thefts from vans in Potters Bar


Police are appealing for witnesses after power tools were stolen following a series of van break-ins in Potters Bar overnight.

Officers have issued crime prevention advice after five vans were reported to have been broken into in the last 24 hours, with power tools taken.

Vehicles in Hill Rise, Ashwood Road, Park Avenue and Carpenter Way were targeted.

Detective Sergeant Gemma Badat said: “I would urge people to consider some simple crime prevention advice [listed below] to help stop them becoming a target for thieves.

“I would also ask people to report any suspicious activity via 101, or dial 999 if you believe a crime is in progress.

“If you have been offered any power tools for sale in suspicious circumstances, please call the police.”

Anyone who has any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact the Borehamwood Local Crime Unit via the Herts Police non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the independent crime-fighting charity’s anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.

Crime prevention advice:

* It might sound obvious, but make sure you lock the doors and shut the windows and sunroof whenever you leave your vehicle unattended.

* Always take the keys out of the ignition even if you are just stopping to buy a newspaper, paying for fuel, or popping back into your home to get something.

* Be aware of your keys. Don’t leave them lying around, visible or in pockets in changing rooms where they could be taken. Don’t leave them visible on a window sill in your home or near to the front door, where they could be “hooked” through the letterbox.

* Never leave any valuables in your vehicle – not even in the glove box or boot – and keep ALL other possessions out of sight. Even if you know that there is nothing valuable in your coat pocket or bag left on the back seat, a thief may try their luck.

* Remove tools from your van when left over night

* If removal of tools is not possible, fit a tool safe and ensure it is fully secured with good quality locks.

* Remove your sat nav and its holder, and wipe away any suction marks as these could suggest to a potential thief that a sat nav is stored in your vehicle.

* Never leave vehicle documents in your car – don’t make it easy for a thief to sell your car or provide a cover story if stopped by the police.

* Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp, and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have them.

* Consider buying locking screws kits to secure number plates which are targeted by criminals.

* Register your stereo, laptop, sat nav and any other property on the free online property database Web Link www.immobilise.com. It only takes a few minutes and could help police trace your property if it’s lost or stolen.

* If you advertise your vehicle for sale on an online web site, ensure that its number plates are covered over when photographed to avoid cloning of its identity.

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