Power tool thieves strike in Lavenham, Great Waldingfield, Cavendish and Clare during spree of vehicle break-ins
Thieves targeted vehicles in towns and villages across the area during a crime spree that saw 40 break-ins reported.
Suffolk Police has launched an investigation into the series of incidents that occurred across Suffolk between Saturday and the early hours of Monday morning.
Offenders gained entry to a large number of vans by drilling through windows or door locks, before stealing any power tools left inside.
The thefts were reported over a wide area, with Lavenham, Great Waldingfield, Cavendish and Clare among the locations affected.
It has not yet been established if these incidents are linked.
Detective Inspector Steve Clarke said: “We are carrying out a number of inquiries relating to these offences and these investigations will continue over the coming days.
“We are speaking to witnesses, carrying out forensic inquiries, looking at CCTV footage and ensuring each victim is spoken to by a ‘design out crime’ officer for crime prevention advice.
“The theft of these power tools will cause a great deal of distress, upheaval and inconvenience to those who have had their vehicles broken into.
“In the vast majority of these cases, we are talking about the livelihoods of these victims being disrupted due to the actions of those responsible.
“We would remind tradesmen and van owners to check their vehicles are locked and windows are secure when leaving them unattended, to help minimise the risk of being targeted by thieves.
“If possible, work equipment, expensive tools and any other valuables should also be removed and left in a secure location elsewhere.
“Keep note of the serial numbers of your tools, or engrave them to ensure they are identifiable as yours.
“Deter thieves by backing your van close to a wall when parking and ensure it is alarmed and parked either in a garage or a well-lit, public area.”
Suffolk residents have also been urged to be wary of anybody who offers to sell them tools in suspicious circumstances.
Anyone who can help the police with their investigation is asked to telephone 101, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.