Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

Van drivers ‘angry’ and told to remove tools at night after spate of break-ins

29 January, 2018 - 20:11
In one case, crooks reportedly used angle grinders to cut open a van like a tin opener to bypass enhanced security features. Stock picture: ARCHANT

In one case, crooks reportedly used angle grinders to cut open a van like a tin opener to bypass enhanced security features. Stock picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Tradesmen in Suffolk and Essex have been warned to start taking their tools off their vans at night following a spate of break-ins.

Dozens of companies have been hit in recent weeks, with reports of works vehicles being targeted in Sudbury, Hadleigh, Stoke by Nayland, and Boxford.

The situation has become so rife that concerned business owners have started staying up at night in the hope of catching the culprits.

In some cases the criminals have been using key devices to open up vans via the electronic central locking system. In one case, crooks reportedly used angle grinders to cut open a van “like a tin opener” to bypass enhanced security features.

Luke Whitwell, of plumbing and heating engineers Whitwell Services, said he has suffered five break-ins to vans in the past year, costing his company around £10,000 and leaving him shocked at the scale of the break-ins.

He said: “It’s getting really bad out there for a lot of small businesses. People rely on their tools to make a living so there’s a lot of anger.

“I’ve heard from friends in Sudbury who have been staying up overnight and waiting for the culprits to strike. The situation really has got that bad. Everyone I’ve been speaking to recently has either had a works vehicle broken into, or they know of someone who has been affected.”

Mr Whitwell, who lives near Hadleigh, said some tradesmen fear that their livelihoods are being put at risk.

He added: “Insurance might cover the damage to a van but the tools onboard are not always covered. You can be talking about thousands of pounds of equipment and not everyone is able to bounce back from that.

“We work hard all day everyday to be a successful company so it’s completely demoralising when this happens time and again.

“My workers have had to start taking their tools off the vans at night. There’s no other option.”

Police were called to almost 250 vehicle-theft related instances in west Ipswich, such as Norwich Road and Bramford Road, from October to December 2017

A Suffolk police spokesman said: “Van owners are advised to register their tools for free at www.immobilise.com by taking note of the serial numbers and models, and to use ultraviolet pen to (invisibly) mark their property, which increases the chances of having them returned to you in the event of being lost or stolen.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

From an exciting announcement at Chantry Park to the opening of a cannabis lounge in Ipswich make sure you are up to date with our articles.

It was touch and go for Pickle the black Labrador when she was hit by a car on the A14 this summer – but now the determined pooch is making a remarkable recovery.

Armed police have raided a house in Ipswich as they investigate a suspected firearms incident.

Bosses behind the development of the former Sproughton sugar beet site have confirmed it will not be used as another out-of-town retail park.

More than 100 people are preparing to pound the pavements for a major walking event aimed at raising vital cash for Alzheimer’s research.

A balaclava-clad man brandishing a knife robbed a McColls convenience store in Ipswich.

Shopping in Ipswich has just got a little sweeter as Hotel Chocolat has opened its doors.

Six abandoned cats were discovered in a cramped carrier in woodland near Stowmarket.

An Ipswich van driver has been banned from the road after being caught speeding along the A12 on seven occasions in a month.

With the start of our big Books for Schools campaign just over a week away, we are looking for even more schools to take up the challenge.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24