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Tool thefts from work vans

Chipping Norton Police are urging residents to be vigilant following a number of thefts of tools and other items from work vans in recent weeks. The two most recent offences have been in Charlbury on Ticknell Piece Road and The Green between the 21st and 22nd of May.

Offences have been reported across the Chipping Norton and surrounding villages and neighboring towns. The types of vans targeted have been Citroen Berlingo, Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit. There has been a number of Ford Transit vans targeted however it is unknown how offenders are gaining entry as there is no damage to the vehicle and the vehicles have definitely been locked by the owners.

All of the offences have taken place overnight and have occurred on residential roads and driveways.

We would like to make local residents aware of the current increase in offences towards unattended vans, and to take additional care with their vehicles and property, as well as considering additional security measures for their vans.

Tools are extremely valuable and can have a huge impact on small businesses when stolen. It is really important that tradesmen and tradeswomen take action to secure their vehicles over and above the standard provided by vehicle manufacturers.

Please consider installing lock boxes, additional interior alarms, and above all mark your tools and other property. Marking property using etching tools and selecta DNA is preferable. This is essential in helping us identify victim's property when we recover suspected stolen property.

We ask that the public be extra vigilant around unattended vans parked in the area after dark. Please report any suspicious activity and anyone loitering around vans to police. We are also keen to hear from anyone who can identify people selling tools in unusual circumstances or for unusually cheap prices to contact the police immediately.

Officers are undertaking additional patrols in areas where the offences are taking place.

Anyone with any information about who may be committing this type of crime is encouraged to contact the 24-hour Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101.

If you don't want to speak directly to the police, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

The following prevention/reduction actions and advice will assist police and partners to reduce the potential risk of crime and prevent members of the public from becoming victims.

Crime prevention advice

  • Always remove tools from your vehicle where possible and keep them in a locked store
  • If you own a garage, always use it to secure your vehicle
  • Always check that your vehicle has locked correctly if using a key fob, don't assume that it has locked- double check
  • If you have to park your vehicle in a public place ensure that it is parked in a well lit location ideally covered by CCTV cameras
  • Consider fitting an internal alarm system to your vehicle separate from the installed vehicle alarm, low cost alarms are readily available
  • Fit internal security lockers or cages for your tools and use good quality padlocks to secure them
  • Consider fitting additional external security locks and use good quality padlocks.
  • Post-code or mark all tools using ultraviolet pens or engravers, forensic marking such as Selecta DNA or Smartwater can also be used
  • Keep a record of all your tools including serial numbers and identifying marks.

Additional security to your vehicle try the Texting Shed Alarm - Mini PIR SMS Alarm with Remote Control (which also works in your vehicle): go to and search for the above item.

Wes Smith
PCSO c9837

Wesley Smith · Sat 23 May 2015, 15:02 · Link

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