Police warn traders to protect their tools
Northumbria Police is urging tradespeople to protect their tools from thieves targeting vans across South Tyneside and Sunderland.
The warning comes after a number of trade vehicles have been broken into with tools and work equipment stolen.
Now police want to remind tradespeople to remove tools from their van and make the vehicle as difficult as possible to break into.
Neighbourhood Inspector Don Wade said: "Tradespeople rely on their tools to carry out their job and if they are stolen it will have a massive impact on their livelihood's.
"We recognise asking people to remove tools from their vehicle at night will be an extra inconvenience for people, but it may be crucial in help prevent those tools from being stolen.
"It may also be worth displaying a sticker to let people know tools are not kept in the van overnight and to park your vehicle in a garage or well-lit area.
"If possible park with the back door close to a wall or garage so it cannot be opened easily and double check the van is locked before leaving it."
Officers are also asking anyone who sees anyone acting suspiciously, or anything out of the ordinary, to ring police.
If anyone sees anyone trying vehicle doors they should ring 999 immediately.