Vans are being targeted while parked up overnight, say police.
In recent weeks police have seen a rise in reports of vans being targeted in Eastbourne, Hastings and Rother.
Inspector Rachel Barrow said, “Police in Hastings and Rother have seen a rise in this type of crime, similar to colleagues in Eastbourne.
“Whilst we have received a small number of incidents locally, we would like to take this opportunity to push out some key messages to try and prevent a bigger problem. Should you be a van owner, please take the time to read our crime prevention advice which could deter thieves.”
Van owners are asked to ensure that valuables and expensive tools are removed from vehicles overnight and owners should consider fitting steering locks or alarms. Vehicles should be fully secured at all times, even if left for only a brief period, and any theft of number plates should be reported to the police without delay.
Further tips to stop thieves include:
•Don’t leave the engine running while defrosting a vehicle. Not only is this illegal but it offers a golden opportunity for thieves.
•Don’t leave coats and jackets on show.
•Remove sat nav and camera suction marks from windscreens, they are an immediate giveaway that such devices may be in the vehicle.
•Remove the contents of glove-boxes and leave them open to show that they don’t contain anything valuable.
•As well as removing tools, display a sign indicating that they are not stored inside the vehicle.
Anyone with information about thefts involving vans is asked to report online sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal/, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101.
Alternatively details can be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
If a crime is in progress, always dial 999.