Owners of Ford Transit vans across the county are being urged to consider better protection for their vehicles.
The warning from Lincolnshire Police comes as 14 vehicles have been stolen in North Kesteven, Lincoln and West Lindsey in recent weeks, with many vehicles being later found burnt out after being stripped for parts.
Inspector for the North Kesteven area, Marc Gee, says: “This recent spate of thefts is concerning. Historically thefts from vans is nothing new – but thefts of the actual vans certainly is.
“We believe the vehicles are being broken into and driven away to remote locations, or sometimes even towed away so as not to wake up the owner.
“These crimes are happening at night and one of the main targets for the criminals is to steal any valuables such as tools or gadgets, or remove the engine. They are then making it as hard as possible for us to investigate the crime by burning vehicles out, which makes forensic analysis more difficult.
“We are doing our best to stop this spate and information from the public will be vital to achieving that. If you see anything suspicious, please report it to us straight away on 101.”
Sally Picker, crime reduction tactical advisor for Lincolnshire Police, adds: “There’s actually quite a lot that owners of Ford Transit vans can to do prevent their vehicles from being targeted. I appreciate this costs money, but a more secure vehicle gives you the peace of mind that you are far less likely to wake up for work one morning and be without your van.
“Why not consider purchasing a pedal box? They can be a great deterrent – they’re bright yellow so highly visible and prevent the van from being driven away.
“Installing better locks that cannot be drilled or picked can offer great protection. You can also consider alarms, some will ring your phone and even link to CCTV.
“There are also OBD port protection devices which prevent the On Board Diagnostics socket from being accessed by potential thieves - this prevents the immobiliser from being by-passed.”
For more information about security for your van visit: www.lincs.police.uk/reporting-advice/driving-roads-and-vehicles/theft-of-motor-vehicles/