Rotherham van owners have been urged to step up their security following a spate of break-ins.
In the last two months there have been over 50 reports of vans being broken into or damaged around Rotherham.
The majority of the incidents involve the rear or side doors of the vans being pulled back to allow the thieves to gain access to the vehicles to steal valuables, including tools.
Vans similar in size to Vauxhall Vivaros or Ford Transits have predominantly been targeted.
Sergeant Clive Collings, from Rotherham’s Central Safer Neighbourhood Area, said: “This current spate of thefts and damage doesn’t appear to have a particular geographical pattern; offences have occurred overnight across the town.
“The crimes have tended to involve the offenders forcing entry to the vans by peeling back the rear or side doors, and appears to have centred around attempts to steal power tools .
“The vans being targeted are primarily commercial vehicles, meaning the owners might work for local businesses or run a business themselves.
“As a result, these kinds of crimes have a significant impact on livelihoods and, it goes without saying, are completely unacceptable.”
The vans are being targeted overnight, between 10pm and 4am, and police are receiving reports of one or two incidents every other night.
The incidents first started being reported in the Masborough and Kimberworth area but are now being reported across the whole town.
Sgt Collings added: “About four weeks ago, we began an operation to try and tackle the issue by increasing visibility and issuing advice to van owners. While this was successful and arrests have been made, the offences have continued.
“I’d urge van owners to secure their vehicles and leave nothing of any value inside. It might be worth investing in stickers for your van that specify you leave nothing in them overnight, which might act as a deterrent.
“Crime levels are relatively low in Rotherham and we will not tolerate this kind of criminality in our town, so if anyone has any information about who might be committing these crimes, please give us a call.”
Anyone with information should call the Rotherham Central Safer Neighbourhood Area team on 01709 832112 quoting Operation Thicket.