TEIGNMOUTH and Dawlish Police have issued a new warning that break-ins and thefts of tools from vans are on the rise.

They have urged owners to take precautions and offered advice.

On their Facvebook page the local police say: ‘We have had an increase of van tool theft reports over the last couple of weeks.

‘Please make sure you secure your tools by following the steps outlined.

‘You can also find more information in the following link: https://crowd.in/iD1QVT

A good link is - https://www.dc.police.uk/toolsatrisk

This gives the sound advice to van owners about parking and CCTV but also target hardening their tools to deter thieves

Keep your vehicle locked and your keys secure

Park in a well-lit area and in clear view of your property and any CCTV cameras

If possible, reverse park against a wall or fence so rear doors are inaccessible. If possible, park to protect side doors too

Unload as many tools as you can from the van. It may seem like a chore but it’s better than not being able to work tomorrow!

Call 999 immediately if you see a crime in progress or any suspicious activity around trade vans. Note registration numbers of vehicles and descriptions of those involved

Things to do to make your van and tools secure...

Upgrade the security on your van and fit an independent alarm. Don’t rely on the factory fitted alarm. Select one accredited by ‘Thatcham’ and always use it. Or contact your local dealership for advice and information on the latest security upgrades available.

Fit additional locks on your van doors as some manufacturer’s locks can be picked, which will also disable the alarm.

Fit a quality tool chest in your van and secure it with a ‘Sold Secure’ padlock.

Mark your tools so they can easily be identified as belonging to you. Here are some suggestions how:

Engrave your name, postcode and phone number together with ‘IF SOLD, CALL ME’

Spray paint your tools a bright colour such as hot pink. This literally makes them too hot to handle!

Keep an up-to-date list of your tools, including photographs and serial numbers, registered on www.immobilise.com - the world’s largest FREE register of possessions and their owners. This will help all UK police forces to trace owners if the property is recovered.