Spate of van break-ins prompts police warning

PUBLISHED: 10:55 22 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:56 22 April 2016

Andrew Hill had his van broken into

Andrew Hill had his van broken into

Archant

Police have issued a warning after 10 van break-ins happened in one night in Welwyn Garden City.

The spate of thefts all occurred between Saturday, April 16 and the following morning, and police believe the vehicles are being targeted.

Most of the break-ins were in short proximity of each other, with two in Oakdale and one each in Picketts, Ingles, Blythway, Sloansway and Monkswood.

There were also attempted smash-and-grabs in Knightsfield, Rowans and Great Break.

In a couple of instances tools worth well over £1,300 were taken, and one victim, builder Andrew Hill, 35, had tools worth £2,000 stolen, forcing him to cancel scheduled work the following day.

He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times he was “frustrated and concerned” over the number of local break-ins, and added: “The vehicle was parked right outside the house so you would think it would have been relatively safe.

“I feel there isn’t enough police presence and there’s no street lights or anything on our roads at all.

“I understand it’s a difficult problem to solve, but there’s not much chance of them getting caught because there isn’t anyone around. I just think there needs to be more patrols.”

Neighbourhood Sergeant Steve Hynes, from the WGC Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We continue to carry out proactive visible police patrols as well as covert patrols to try and catch offenders targeting vans.

“This is one of our main priorities at the moment. We are also asking for the public’s help in giving us descriptions of the people involved or anyone who may be responsible.”


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