Residents across Greater Manchester are being warned to secure their vehicles and keep tools safe following a rise in thefts throughout the region, including in Tameside.
Greater Manchester Police are encouraging vehicle owners to do their bit in helping to keep them safe, reminding people that thieves are often opportunists and burglaries can happen at any time of the day or night.
Police say they are continuing to engage with local traders and retailers to educate on what to look out for, how to report suspected tool thefts and help return any stolen items to their rightful owners.
Superintendent Andy Sidebotham insists that the force is committed to tackling burglaries.
He said: “The impact of tool theft can have a significant effect on victim’s livelihood, not only on the financial implications of replacing tools but also the loss of work which can come as a result of this impactful crime.
“We continue to monitor the number of burglaries across Greater Manchester and gather information to adapt our strategy to reduce the number of thefts from vehicles and target those responsible.
“Keeping vehicles locked at all times, considering where vehicles are parked, keeping keys safe and registering high value objects on Immobilise can all help reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
“Electric drills, power saws, jigsaw, tool boxes, nail guns, leaf blower and hand drills are the most frequently reported stolen, so please consider registering all of these items if you have them, and not leaving them in your van overnight.
“It is essential everyone remains vigilant, both day and night. If we can all be more pro-active in following our advice, thefts should begin to fall.”
GMP has issued the following advice to vehicle owners:
· Keep vehicles locked at all times, regardless of how long they are left unattended. Thieves are opportunists, so even if you are nipping inside for a short time, minutes is all it takes.
· Always check the doors after locking, especially when leaving equipment in vehicles. Criminals can also use devices which block the key fob signal, so always double check your vehicle is locked.
· Keep keys away from windows and doors, not only so they are out of sight and reach, but also to make it harder to pick up the key signal to access vehicles without physically having the keys.
· Keeping keys in a metal tin, or foil lined bag can also help to ensure access cannot be gained as storing keys this way completely blocks any signal being picked up.
· Register property on Immobilise.com, so property can be returned to the rightful owner if recovered. Immobilise is a free register for high valued possessions, including all power tools.
· Have tools etched with personal information. This reduces the opportunity for offenders to sell them on.
· Where possible, park in well lit, busy areas and within range of CCTV.
· Park with accessible doors against walls/garages/fences to block entry.
· Add signage to vans stating ‘no vehicles left in this van overnight’
Police urge anyone to report any suspicious activity by contacting GMP via the Live Chat on the GMP homepage or call the non-emergency number 101 but, in an emergency, call 999. Crimestoppers also enables you to share information while remaining anonymous. You can call them on 0800 555 111.