Police are issuing a warning to members of the public to keep works vehicles secure after more than 30 thefts from vehicles were reported in Hartlepool
Thirty-two thefts from vehicles were reported in the town since from November 1, with five taking place overnight between Wednesday, November 25th , and Thursday, November 26.
Four offences happened on New Years Day, with more than half of the vehicles - primarily Ford transit vans and Vauxhall combo vans - having been left insecure.
The stolen items included tool, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, building materials, satellite navigation systems, cigarettes, paperwork, radios and wheel trims.
The most affected wards are Manor House and Victoria. However, Fens and Rossmere, Foggy Furze, Hart and Jesmond have also been targeted.
Inspector Mal Suggitt, from Hartlepool Integrated Neighbourhood Team, said: “Whilst some of these incidents have involved vehicle’s windows being smashed, in more than half the cases vehicles had been left unlocked.
“It’s really important that people recognise that keeping their vehicles locked may mean that they don’t have expensive stolen.
"A thief taking hundreds of pounds worth of tools that are vital to someone in doing their job could potentially put them out of business. To someone who is self-employed it can be a very big hit.
“Please remember to keep valuables out of sight and park in well-lit areas. Anyone with information regarding those responsible can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”