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Man in custody following overnight theft from van thanks to community spirit – Fishponds

Officer locking cell door

A man’s in our cells today, Tuesday 27 November, following his arrest in the early hours on suspicion of theft from a van in Fishponds.

Patrolling officers were flagged down just after 4.15am today in Redhill Drive by a man on his way to work. He reported seeing two men on bicycles behaving suspiciously.

The officer found that a van had been broken into and detained one suspect almost immediately. A police dog and handler supported officers searching for the second suspect but no one else was located.

The suspect was further arrested on suspicion of going equipped to steal and theft of a pedal cycle. He remains in police custody at the time of writing.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Chris Green said: “This goes to show how big a part the community can play in helping us to keep neighbourhoods safe.

“One man stopped on his way to work to flag down officers and a second person called in after being woken, looking outside and seeing suspicious activity. We’re very grateful to them both for giving us this timely information.

“We’ve been targeting marked and covert patrols in this area after a number of thefts from vans in recent days. It’s really important that this sort of crime is reported so we can bid for resources and focus them in this way.”

How can you help to keep your street safe?

We always encourage people to call in to report suspicious activity immediately, by calling 999 if a crime is underway, otherwise ringing 101.

PS Green added that prevention is better than cure. Officers understand how such crimes affect the livelihoods of tradespeople. We know it’s not always possible to empty a work van overnight, but recommend it if you can.

Otherwise:
• permanently mark tools with your business name or postcode
• register the serial numbers at www.immobilise.com
• keep them inside a secure storage cage or box anchored within the vehicle
• set the alarm as well as locking the van whenever you leave it
• park it in a secure garage, or with the doors against a wall or another vehicle, to make access more difficult
• fit secondary locks
• use a tracking device

Don’t help to create a market for stolen goods. Officers would also like to hear from you if you see tools offered for sale, online or in person, at a suspiciously cheap price.

If you don’t want to speak to the police, you can pass on information through the independent charity Crimestoppers.

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form.

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.