Harrogate has seen a recent high incidence of tool theft from vans, in areas such as Jennyfields, Bilton, Granby, Saltergate and the town centre.
Not all the incidents have been during the night, some have been as early as 8pm.
Harrogate Police have committed a good deal of resource to this issue throughout this week. They say that they believe the incidents are cross-border crimes, meaning travelling criminals coming to the area to undertake the crimes, before fleeing.
The police are calling on people to be vigilant and where possible remove tools from vehicles overnight. Not all the incidents are happening late at night, meaning that some will be visible to many more people, they are asking people to report all possible incidents.
The incidents have been widely commented upon and criticised on social media. The police have emphasised that work is ongoing, but it is not possible to make public what all that work is , for fear of compromising investigations.
Inspector Penny Taylor of North Yorkshire Police said said:
The crimes have continued and commercial vans are continuing to be targeted . There have been incidents on Monday and Wednesday night this week.
Work is ongoing to try and identify those that are responsible.
Whilst I cannot give you detail on the investigations for obvious reasons I am confident that this is linked to cross border criminality .
We are currently working with other forces and proactive force resources have been tasked to Harrogate and in particular our borders to tackle this issue.
Prevention work is ongoing with my team and the Community Safety Partnership.
In the next week we will have information leaflets delivered to outlets that sell tools .
We will also be looking at property marking events at some of these outlets run by PCSO’s /Volunteers.
The first event will be held between 9am-12 noon on Saturday 14 April (B&Q in Harrogate).
I would like to add we are doing everything we can with partners to tackle this rise in crime. If I could appeal to the community to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour.