Skip to content

Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Alert over thefts from vans – North Somerset and Bristol

CCTV image of masked men
Can you help us identify these men?

We’re investigating after the occupants of a dark-coloured BMW car were reported as being involved in thefts and attempted thefts from vans in North Somerset and South Bristol.

There were four incidents on Saturday night, 16 May:

  • the first happened at about 10.13pm in Aspen Park, Weston-super-Mare. A witness reported disturbing men who made off in a car. Officers attended and found that three Vauxhall Vivaro vans in the street had been tampered with. Two were damaged but nothing had been stolen.
  • in Wrington Lane, Congresbury, another Vauxhall Vivaro was broken into and tools were stolen. These included Hilti batteries and impact guns and a number of cordless Makita tools. This wasn’t witnessed and was reported on Sunday afternoon but CCTV shows the incident happened at 10.36pm on Saturday night.
  • just before 11pm officers were called to Chescombe Road, Yatton. A Peugeot van was damaged but had nothing stolen after the men were disturbed by witness.
  • finally at 11.30pm a Vauxhall Vivaro parked in Westward Road, Bishopsworth, was damaged in an attempt to break into it. Again a witness called officers after seeing someone interfering with the vehicle.

We responded to each report on Saturday night. The area was searched for the suspect vehicle with no trace. House-to-house enquiries have been carried out and an alert issued through Neighbourhood Watch.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Mark Raby said: “These witnesses did exactly the right thing by calling us immediately to report this suspicious behaviour. We understand the significant impact of this sort of crime on tradespeople’s livelihoods. We’d be keen to hear from anyone with information which could help, especially who recognises the men in the image above, quoting reference 5220106973.”

He added: “We know it’s not always possible to empty a work van overnight, but we’d recommend it if you can.”

Other vehicle security advice:

  • permanently mark tools with your business name or postcode 
  • keep a record of the serial numbers
  • keep tools 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 – we’d also like to hear from you if you see tools offered for sale, online or in person, at a suspiciously cheap price.

If you can help, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5220106973