Surrey RCMP is recommending people take extra precautions after seeing an increase in work vans being stolen.
Through the month of October, Surrey RCMP received 31 reports of work vans containing tools stolen from locations through the city, according to a release from Const. Sarbjit Sangha. She said October showed a “marked” increase from previous months where thefts of work vans ranged from 14 to 19.
“Work van thefts are not unique to Surrey; it is a trend being seen throughout the Lower Mainland,” said Sangha.
The Surrey RCMP Auto Crime Target Team, Sangha said, is actively investigating and working to identify suspects and investigators are following up on “several leads.”
Surrey RCMP also recommends having an audible alarm system, when possible parking in secure areas, use an anti-theft device such as a steering wheel lock, install GPS units to track the vehicle, park where there is video surveillance, remove valuable items from the vehicle and to keep a catalog of all tools in the van.
“Tools are very generic in appearance, which makes them challenging to identify ownership when police locate them,” explained Sangha.
“It is important to keep a catalog of tools including their serial numbers and/or ensure that they have distinguishable engravings, not easily removed by criminals. Taking these steps increases the likelihood of having your tools returned in the event they are lost or stolen.”
She added in September, tools were stolen from a work vehicle in Vancouver and later located in Surrey and Delta in three different locations.
“Despite, the tools being located in different jurisdictions by different agencies they were returned to their rightful owner as they all had identifiable markings.”