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November 30th, 2018

Thousands of tradespeople are being left out of pocket every year as vans are being increasingly targeted by thieves for their tools.

Police figures from 30 out of 45 areas show there were 14,063 thefts of tools from vehicles in 2015 rising to 22,749 last year.

In response to this, Selco teamed up with Herts Police to provide crime prevention advice, with a focus on tool theft from vans.

Recently, tradespeople in and around Hemel Hempstead were provided the opportunity to visit their Selco branch where officers were on hand to provide tips and advice on improving security.

Customers were offered free tool engraving and tamperproof number plate screws to help bolster security.

Here are some of the other ways which PCSO Rob Rowlings and his team highlighted to prevent vehicle and tool theft.

  • It might sound obvious, but make sure you lock the doors and shut the windows whenever you leave your van unattended.
  • Never leave any valuables visible - keep ALL possessions out of sight. Even if you know that there is nothing valuable in your jacket pocket or file left on the seat, a thief may try their luck.
  • Remove tools from your van when left overnight.
  • If removal of tools is not possible, fit a tool safe like the Van Vault and ensure it is fully secured with good quality locks.
  • Consider parking your van close to a hedge or wall in order to restrict access for anyone trying to get inside.
  • Engrave or mark tools and their boxes with your postcode and house number.
  • Fit additional external locks to van doors.
  • Use an approved steering lock or gear clamps and remember to set your immobiliser and alarm if you have one.
  • Fit a dual band tracking device that works on VHF/UHF and GPS to ensure that one tracking system is still functioning if criminals use GPS blocking techniques to avoid detection. Purchase devices to ‘Thatcham’ and ‘SBD’ approval to combat this type of vehicle theft, as vehicles equipped with a tracking device are often promptly recovered.
  • Use a “Pedal Box Guard” to encase the pedals when the vehicle is not in use.
  • Fit an on-board diagnostic (OBD) safe device, a secure lockable device that fits over the vehicle’s OBD port, inside the cabin, to prevent additional keys being coded.

For more information on the event, and for further advice, visit

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