South Yorkshire Police have issued a warning to all van owners in and around the Sheffield area as the city experiences a mini wave of break-ins.
In the past week there have been multiple thefts all around the city, with many of the vans having power tools stolen. There was even a van stolen from Adastral Avenue in Charnock on the outskirts of the city, which just goes to show how far these criminals are willing to go.
This has prompted Police to issue their warning to all van owners in the area, and if you know someone that owns a van then make sure they are fully aware of what is going on around the city.
Basically, it comes down to the fact that many van owners are not securing their vehicles and the contents inside them properly, which in turn has led to thieves seeing them as an easy way to get some tools and similar items they can sell.
It wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of these power tools are being advertised on sites like eBay within a few hours of being stolen. That brings us nicely to the question “are these big auction sites doing enough to make sure stolen items are not being sold on their platform?” I think it is better than a few years ago, but more still needs to be done.
We should all be taking responsibility though. For example, if someone is offering you a power tool down the local boozer for £40, when it usually sells for £400, then you know it literally fell of the back of a lorry.
In this kind of situation you should not only refuse the sale, but report the incident to the Police. At the end of the day, it is the only way we are going to stop these criminals.
Van owners must also do more to make sure their vehicles are secure. Things like parking in a garage or up against one to limit access is a good idea, as well fitting extra alarms, installing more locks and taking your tools out of the van at night.
This also puts you in good favour with the van insurance companies, as they reward you with cheaper policies.
It is always worth doing that bit extra to make sure your van is as secure as it can be. Yes it will cost you a bit more upfront to fit an extra alarm and a few more locks, and it will mean an extra 10 minutes at night taking your tools out of the van and an extra 10 minutes in the morning putting them back in, but in the long run it will be worth it.