Appeal for information after vans targeted by thieves across county
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We are appealing for information after a number of incidents where both attempted and successful break-ins were carried out on vans across the county between Monday (23 November) and yesterday (Tuesday 24 November), with valuable tools stolen in some of the incidents.
At about 9am on Monday a Vauxhall Vivaro van was reported as broken into on Barley Croft, Perton. Three males were described as being present by witnesses, with power tools worth £500 being taken as they reportedly escaped in a grey vehicle, potentially a Vauxhall Insignia.
Later on in the day, officers received a call from Stallington Road in Blythe Bridge, Stoke-on-Trent, at about 4.45pm after witnesses reported seeing three men with a crowbar trying to access a parked Ford Transit crew cab pickup-style van.
And later in the evening on Elmwood Drive, Blythe Bridge, witnesses reported seeing a silver hatchback-style vehicle, possibly a Volvo car, leaving the estate having damaged the back door of another van trying to gain entry. One of the three suspects was said to have been wearing all black clothing with his face covered.
Another incident was reported at about 9pm on The Plaisaunce, Newcastle-under-Lyme, where a hole was reportedly cut into the back of a van. Again, three males driving a Volvo were reported, and this time it is believed they were disturbed before fully gaining access to the van.
At about 9.20pm, a resident of Friars Walk, Newcastle-under-Lyme, reported their van had been broken into after hearing the alarm go off and finding one of the vehicle’s doors wide open.
A resident on Kingsway East, Newcastle-under-Lyme, also reported their van getting broken into on Monday evening. They reported that a hole had been cut into the side of the van and the lock was lifted. The thieves managed to steal tools and batteries worth £350 before escaping.
Another van was reported as being broken into at the Premier Inn hotel on Wellington Road, Burton-upon-Trent, with up to £5,000 of tools reportedly stolen overnight between Monday and yesterday.
Once again, the thieves are said to have cut a hole in the van’s side panel to gain access.
There were also two vans stolen from Tean and Upper Tean sometime overnight between Monday and Tuesday. The first van was taken from Greatwood Road, Tean, and the second from Draycott Road, Upper Tean.
Supt Thomas Chisholm, Head of Neighbourhood Policing for Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, said: “We are appealing for any information relating to any of the above incidents that have caused financial and mental distress to the victims, who often rely on their vans as their main mode of transport for work.
“Did you see or hear anything suspicious in these areas mentions at the times stated? If you did, it could help bring these incidents to a halt and protect the livelihood of those within your community and maybe even your neighbours.”
Anyone with any information should message Staffordshire Police on Facebook or Twitter quoting incident number 90 of 24 November, call 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.