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CCTV shows 3 van break-ins in a single night

2-minute read

Anna Delves

10 December 2018

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Brazen thieves broke into three vans in a single street, all on the same night, but the vans' owners were disappointed in the police response.

All three break-ins were caught on CCTV, but according to the owner of the third van in the video, the police didn’t even want to see the tape.

The thefts took place in the Fishponds area of Bristol, the 7th worst affected city in the tool theft epidemic.

Even when the alarm went off on the final van – owned by tradesman Darren Smith – the thieves continued their break-in before setting off for their getaway car.

You can watch the full video on the Bristol Live website.

Tradesmen feel “let down” by police response

Speaking to Bristol Live, Mr Smith said a neighbour’s house was broken into the previous night, and residents were told police would be patrolling the street. However, his CCTV footage shows no police presence.

On top of that, the response he received upon reporting the crime was disappointing.

Darren Smith Quote

The police dispute Mr Smith’s claim, saying they've assigned an investigator to the incident and that they've provided a link for the CCTV to be uploaded.

Tool theft costs victims thousands

Like many who've fallen prey to tool thieves, those hit in the video suffered losses both in terms of the tools they lost, and the damage to their vehicles.

“First they got into my neighbour’s van, and stole his tools,” said Mr Smith, owner of the final van. “After they were done with his, they came over to my van and had a look. It looks like they went back to their car to get a tool to open mine.

“They busted my lock. I was pretty gutted as this is the third time this has happened to my van. The last time, I lost £2,500 worth of tools, but I bring all my tools in - that’s why they didn’t get anything this time.”

He’s now urging others to do the same, to avoid the same losses he’s suffered. If you want to read more about protecting your tools, or recovering them if they’re stolen, check out our full guide to tool theft prevention.

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