UPDATED EXCLUSIVE: Islanders have been left seriously concerned about the security of their vehicles following a further spate of van thefts in which tools and other property have been stolen, without any sign of forced entry.
Last month Island Echo reported on Hampshire Constabulary’s warning to ensure vehicles are locked when over £2000 worth of tools were taken from a van in Ryde. At least one other van was targeted on the same night.
It was suggested by the victims at the time that a fob had been used to deactivate the central locking on the vehicles.
Now, less than 2 weeks after the warning, there has been another series of thefts from vans in the Ryde and Sandown areas overnight (Tuesday into Wednesday). Chain saws, hedge cutters and general tools have all been taken rendering some businesses unable to trade. Four victims have come forward to say that their vans were all locked this morning before the thefts were discovered, with no signs of forced entry.
One source tells Island Echo that two men dressed in high-vis clothing were seen to be trying handles on vehicles at shortly before 03:00 this morning off Newport Road, Lake.
UPDATE THURSDAY – Another van has been accessed and robbed overnight with around £20,000 worth of carpentry tools taken from outside a property in Newport.
Hampshire Constabulary have today confirmed they are investigating 11 thefts, which have all occurred from Ford Transit and Transit Connect vans.
PC Caroline Woodgate of Newport Police Station has said:
“Tools have been reported as being stolen from these vans which have been left parked securely. It is likely the thieves have a ‘tool’ which can allow them to access and lock the vehicles leaving no signs of forced entry.
“Would the owners of the above vehicles please consider emptying and cleaning thier vehicles to increase forensic potential should they become a victim of this crime”.
Anyone who sees anything suspicious, or has information relating to the thefts, is asked to call Police on 101. Information can be given anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.