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Work van thefts on the rise in Surrey

DCN-JOC News Services
Work van thefts on the rise in Surrey
RCMP — Surrey RCMP show an example of distinctive tool marks that make stolen tools easier to identify.

SURREY, B.C. — Surrey RCMP officers are asking tradespeople to be extra vigilant as work van thefts are on the rise.

During October, Surrey RCMP received 31 reports of work vans containing tools stolen from locations throughout the city. October showed a marked increase from previous months where thefts of work vans ranged from 14 to 19.

Officers noted work van thefts are becoming a trend throughout the Lower Mainland.

The Surrey RCMP Auto Crime Target Team (ACTT) stated it is actively investigating and working to identify suspects. Investigators are following up on several leads and are asking the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity to police.

The RCMP gave these tips for keeping your work van safe:

  • Have an audible alarm system on the vehicle;
  • when possible, park in secure areas such as a garage, or fenced property;
  • utilize an anti-theft device such as a steering wheel lock;
  • install GPS units to be able to track your vehicle should it be stolen;
  • park where there is video surveillance;
  • remove valuable items from the vehicle; and
  • keep a catalog of all tools in your work van, which includes serial numbers.

The RCMP explained because tools look generic, ownership can be difficult to establish. This makes it important to keep a catalog of tools including their serial numbers and ensure they have distinguishable engravings, not easily removed by criminals. Taking these steps increases the likelihood of having stolen tools returned.

Officers said this past September, tools were taken from a Vancouver work van and later found at three locations in Surrey and Delta. Because they had distinct markings, they were able to be returned to their owner.

“Having your vehicle stolen is an inconvenience, but when it contains tools used to make a living, it can have a lasting impact on a person’s livelihood,” said Vanessa Munm, Surrey RCMP media relations officer, in a release. “As our investigators work to identify the persons responsible for these crimes, we want members of the public to take extra steps to safeguard their belongings.”

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