Warning after van theft increase in Horsham

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Police have issued a new warning to van owners after another increase in thefts from the vehicles over the past week.

In the past seven days vans have been broken into across the district in towns and villages including Billingshurst, Horsham, Broadbridge Heath and Partridge Green.

Police have released some tips to help keep your commercial vehicle safe:

• Ensure your vehicle is always locked. Lock the back doors while driving and don’t forget any side sliding doors.

• If your vehicle doesn’t have an alarm, get one fitted. Insurance companies will often give a discount for properly installed and approved alarms.

• Never leave personal documents in the vehicle’s cab.

• Never leave tools or equipment in your vehicle overnight.

• Keep your van keys safe while you are working. Never leave them in your vehicle.

• ‘High clearance’ vehicles are common targets for catalytic converter theft. Mark yours to deter thieves.

• Security mark all your tools and equipment to make items uniquely identifiable

• Don’t buy cheap, second hand tools from a building site – they may be stolen. If you are suspicious – tell the police.

• Keep stops for fuel, food and other goods to a minimum. The fewer stops you need to make (leaving your vehicle unattended) the more secure it will be.

• Make sure you have fully comprehensive insurance for your vehicle. Thieves will often ‘smash and grab’ causing damage that is expensive to repair and may take you off the road for several days.