Vigilance call to van owners after self-employed Stradbroke carpenter and joiner has £5,000 worth of tools stolen

Craig Smith, of CMS Carpentry, had �5,000 worth of tools stolen from his van in Stradbroke. Submitted picture.
Craig Smith, of CMS Carpentry, had �5,000 worth of tools stolen from his van in Stradbroke. Submitted picture.

A self-employed Stradbroke carpenter and joiner has issued a vigilance call to van owners after £5,000 of tools were taken from his van.

Craig Smith, of CMS Carpentry, said his heart sank when he went to his Volkswagen van on Tuesday morning, only to discover the front and side doors open.

I strongly believe that I have been targeted. My van does not have any windows – you would have to know there was stuff in there

Craig Smith, CMS Carpentry

Numerous power tools, nail guns, hand tools, track saws and drills had been stolen. It is believed to have happened sometime overnight on Monday.

Mr Smith, of Bishops Way, has issued a vigilance call to other van owners – believing he was deliberately targeted by thieves.

He was told by police that thieves are using a system which unlocks individual doors on vehicles through the central locking, eliminating the need to force open doors and bypassing any alarms.

“I know I probably will never get the tools back and they will probably end up for sale at a car boot sale, but other van owners could be vulnerable,” he said.

“I bought my van on the basis that it is a good van. But I am going to spend £300 on deadlocks and other security systems.

“I strongly believe that I have been targeted.

“My van does not have any windows – you would have to know there was stuff in there.”

Mr Smith is covered by insurance for the theft, but said he would lose two days’ worth of earnings. He said friends had come to his aid by loaning him tools to allow him to work later this week.

A self-employed gardener in Suffolk, who wishes to remain anonymous, was also targeted by thieves on the same night.

About £5,000 of tools were taken on this occasion – and it is thought access was gained in a similar way.

“The first thing I thought was I had left my tools at my previous job the day before, but when I went back to the van, I realised everything had gone,” he said.

“I could not really believe it. It was a shock. There was no physical damage to the van.”