Police in a Barry and the wider Vale area are urging van owners to ensure valuables are removed from vehicles overnight, following a number of thefts and attempted thefts.
The area has seen a spike in auto-crime, with four thefts from Transit vans occurring in 24 hours alone.
At approximately 2am today (Thursday, May 18th), three men were captured on CCTV breaking in to a van at the Celtic International Hotel, near Rhoose Airport, and removing items.
They attempted to target another before fleeing in a silver Volvo-shaped vehicle when the van’s alarm sounded. The car turned left out of the hotel, in the direction of Barry.
The previous night, a similar theft occurred from a vehicle parked on Cliftoin Street, Barry. In that incident, which happened sometime between 4.15pm on Tuesday, May 16th and 7.45am on Wednesday, May 17th, the van was entered – with no obvious damage caused – and a toolbag stolen.
Other vehicles were also targeted on the same night – sometime between 6pm, May 16th and 9am, May 17th at Canon Street, and sometime between 11pm on May 16th and 7.25am on May 17th on Pontypridd Road.
In both instances, thousands of pounds worth of tools were taken.
Sergeant Mark Allen, who is investigating the incidents, urged all vehicle owners and particularly van owners to take extra precautions to protect their belongings.
Sgt Allen said: “In all of these instances, tradesmen have clearly been targeted for their valuable tools.
“Thieves know that there is a market out there for power tools which are worth a lot of money, and they have a complete disregard for the victims who depend on these tools for their livelihoods.
“While people should be able to store their work equipment in their work vehicles, the sad fact is that it is simply not safe to do so.
“I’d urge tradesmen, and indeed all vehicle owners, to ensure they remove all valuables from the vehicles overnight and to ensure vehicles are left secure. Ensuring vehicles have alarms does also act as a deterrent.
“I’d also urge people to be vigilant and to contact us if they are offered for sale equipment they suspect is stolen.”
Sgt Allen also appealed for any witnesses or anyone who could help identify those involved, to come forward. Anyone with information should contact 101, quoting reference 1700188696. Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.