Thirteen vans targeted by thieves in the Derbyshire Dales recently

Police are urging van owners to ensure their vehicles and tools are well secured.

Officers reminding van owners to make sure their vehicles, valuables and tools are secure, and appealing for information after recent thefts in the Derbyshire Dales.

It’s after 13 vans were targeted in Darley Dale, Matlock, Middleton by Wirksworth, Rowsley and Hackney between Saturday 7 March and Monday 9 March.

In Matlock, vehicles parked on Quarry Bank, Oker Road, Crook Stile and in a car park off Bakewell Road have been targeted. In Darley Dale, there have been reports on Oker Avenue, Northwood Lane and Lime Grove.

There have also been thefts on Greenway Lane, Hackney, Sunnybank in Rowsley and Main Street, Middleton by Wirksworth.

A large number of tools, and a petrol strimmer, have been stolen during the incidents.

Derbyshire Police say they'd like to hear from anyone in these areas who may have noticed anything suspicious, particularly during the late evening or early hours of the morning, and are investigating reports of a white estate car which has been seen in the area around the same time.

Sgt. Daniel Brooks, of our local Safer Neighbourhood policing team, said: “The victims of this type of crime can suffer a huge impact as they are often tradespeople who have to replace their tools and equipment and may not be able to work in the meantime.

“Inquiries are ongoing but we would urge van owners to help reduce the risk of being targeted by making sure that vehicles are locked whenever they’re unattended, that tools and valuables are removed and that it is parked in a well-lit and secure area overnight, covered by CCTV if possible.”

The advice comes during the second week of Operation Relentless, a year long initiative that will involve officers and staff from across the force, working in conjunction with partner agencies to target acquisitive crime.

Public consultation has shown that the communities of Derbyshire are concerned about having their house or car broken into. In an effort to tackle this type of crime, as well as robberies, the operation has started with two weeks’ worth of targeted activity.

Sgt. Brooks added: “We would also ask people to avoid buying tools or equipment cheaply through second hand online sales or auction sites, or car boots, as you may be helping criminals to profit through the sale of stolen items.

“If you do have any information which you think could help our investigation, or if you notice anything suspicious, please get in touch.”

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