Thieves target vans and quad bikes

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Van and quad bike owners are advised to step up security following a spate of thefts across the Derbyshire Dales.

Thieves have broken into vans to steal power tools from inside and taken quad bikes from barns and garages.

Following the incidents, Safer Neighbourhood officers will be carrying out increased patrols to deter criminals and catch offenders in the act, but they are also asking residents to be their eyes and ears in the community by reporting suspicious activity.

Motorists, especially those working in the trade industry, are being advised to take steps to better protect their property from being targeted by thieves.

Sgt Andy Wordsworth, who overseas Safer Neighbourhood policing in the Derbyshire Dales, said: “The team and I are working to tackle the issue but we are asking motorists and residents living in the rural, farming communities to be extra vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to us so that we can stop the criminals in their tracks.”

“We are also encouraging motorists to boost security to help deter thieves. For quad bikes, make sure that these are immobilised when not in use and stored away in a secure building with a quality lock. Consider using heavy duty locks and chains to further secure the quad bike inside a barn or garage.

“Ensure that any vehicle or building keys are kept out of sight and always mark property with a fluid such as SmartWater to deter thieves and help us to return any items that are stolen and later recovered.

“For vans and vehicles, make sure that they are properly locked with the alarm activated before being left unattended, and that valuables, particularly tools, are removed completely where possible.”

Further vehicle security advice includes:

l Wipe away any visible marks left behind by a phone cradle or sat nav;

l Don’t make it easy for thieves. Try to remove all valuable items, especially tools, out of the vehicle completely. If this isn’t possible, always keep them out of view from passers-by;

l Security mark all of your valuables to help make them easily identified and traceable should they be stolen and recovered. This also makes them less attractive to thieves;

l Remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police no matter how small you think it may be. It could help to stop a crime from happening.

For further crime prevention advice, or to speak to your local Safer Neighbourhood team, call 101 or send them a message online using the Contact Us section of our website: www.derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us<http://www.derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us