Police issue stolen tools alert in Wigan

Police have issued crime prevention advice, helping Wiganers to secure their vehicles and keep their tools safe.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 11:07 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 11:12 am
A suspected tool thief caught on camera in Appley Bridge in 2018

The Greater Manchester force says it is continuing to raise awareness of this type of crime, engaging with local traders and retailers to educate on what to look out for, how to report suspected tool thefts and help return any stolen items to their rightful owners.

The warning and advice was issued after officers said that tool thefts are on the increase across the city-region.

Thieves are often opportunists and burglaries can happen any time of the day, so as well as working proactively to target offenders, GMP are encouraging residents to follow simple steps to help keep their vehicles and tools safe.

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Supt Andy Sidebotham said he wanted to reassure the public that GMP officers are committed to tackling burglaries, and is also keen to encourage residents to do their part in helping keep their possessions safe.

Mr Sidebotham said: “The impact of tool theft can have a significant effect on victim’s livelihood, not only on the financial implications of replacing tools but also the loss of work which can come as a result of this impactful crime.

“We continue to monitor the number of burglaries across Greater Manchester and gather information to adapt our strategy to reduce the number of thefts from vehicles and target those responsible.

“Keeping vehicles locked at all times, considering where vehicles are parked, keeping keys safe and registering high value objects on Immobilise can all help reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

“Electric drills, power saws, jigsaw, tool boxes, nail guns, leaf blower and hand drills are the most frequently reported stolen, so please consider registering all of these items if you have them, and not leaving them in your van overnight.

“It is essential everyone remains vigilant, both day and night. If we can all be more pro-active in following our advice, thefts should begin to fall.”

Top tips issued by GMP are as follows:

· Keep vehicles locked at all times, regardless of how long they are left unattended. Thieves are opportunists, so even if you are nipping inside for a short time, minutes is all it takes.

· Always check the doors after locking, especially when leaving equipment in vehicles. Criminals can also use devices which block the key fob signal, so always double check your vehicle is locked.

· Keep keys away from windows and doors, not only so they are out of sight and reach, but also to make it harder to pick up the key signal to access vehicles without physically having the keys.

· Keeping keys in a metal tin, or foil lined bag can also help to ensure access cannot be gained as storing keys this way completely blocks any signal being picked up.

· Register property on Immobilise.com, so property can be returned to the rightful owner if recovered. Immobilise is a free register for high valued possessions, including all power tools.

· Have tools etched with personal information. This reduces the opportunity for offenders to sell them on.

· Where possible, park in well lit, busy areas and within range of CCTV.

· Park with accessible doors against walls/garages/fences to block entry.

· Add signage to vans stating ‘no vehicles left in this van overnight’

It is really important that our communities help us to combat theft by sharing any intelligence on. Crimestoppers enables anyone to share information whilst remaining anonymous. You can call them on 0800 555111.

To report any suspicious activity, please contact Greater Manchester Police via the Live Chat on the GMP homepage, or call 101. In an emergency, please dial 999.