Thieves are using a device to bypass locking systems to break into vans, South Yorkshire Police has revealed.
Ford Transit vans have been targeted by thieves who have managed to gain entry without forcing the locks.
It is believed that thieves are looking for tools to sell on.
Crime Reduction Officer Dene Tinker said: “We are aware of this method and are working hard to investigate these offences and find those responsible.
“It’s vital that Transit owners and drivers are vigilant. We know it may take time at the end of a long day’s work to remove valuables but we do recommend you do so, especially overnight.
“I also appreciate it isn’t always an option for those who have nowhere else to keep them. If this is the case, please consider investing in a robust van vault where you can lock away all your valuable tools.
“I would also advise that all van owners fit additional security such as Loading Door Keepers to prevent door peeling. Fit an alarm and boost security by installing additional Slamlocks or deadlocks independently of the manufacturers. This will increase security of any items inside the van and they also offer a visual deterrent on the outside of the van.
“It is also a good idea to consider insuring your work tools. This is important because most standard van insurance policies do not cover loss of tools left in a van overnight. In fact, some policies state that you can’t store tools in your van unless it meets certain security requirements. Don’t get caught out, and check.
“I am aware that many self-employed tradespeople are dependent on their van and work tools. Damage to the van and time to restock an extensive collection of specialist tools can take time. The disruption is frustrating and costly, as without the necessary tools, it’s not possible to complete the jobs currently being worked on or take on new projects.”
Anyone with information on the culprits should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.