Shepreth decorator and maintenance man warns others after van raided by thieves in the perfect crime

PUBLISHED: 12:32 19 November 2015

Kevin Butcher had his van broken into

Kevin Butcher had his van broken into

Archant

The owner of a van that was raided by thieves in Shepreth, costing him a week and a half's work, is warning other Ford Transit van owners to bolster security on their vehicles.

Almost £1,000 worth of tools were stolen when Kevin Butcher’s van was opened using a master key at some point between 8.45pm and 9.30pm on Tuesday, November 10.

As well as the financial implications of losing business due to the missing tools, Kevin has had to pay out to replace drills, a Makita radio, cutters, sandpaper and general hand tools.

Sadly, due to the method used to open the vehicle, the insurance company has refused to pay out as there was no evidence of a break-in.

Kevin, who works in decorating and property maintenance and had left the van parked in Meldreth Road, said: “It makes me feel sick that thieves went around doing this.

“They probably used a master key which you can buy for £25 and will unlock any Ford Transit van.

“I want to warn other owners to buy CCTV for their vehicles and a dead lock – which secures into the door and can only be opened with a key.”

On the same evening there were two other similar thefts from vans in South Cambs.

A drill was stolen from a van in Melbourn at about 6.50pm in Brooksbank.

At 7.30pm, three men moved a van before making off with tools in Foxton.

The men then left in a dark coloured saloon, possibly a Ford Mondeo.

Ford Transit van thefts are a recurring problem in the area. In just one week in February, 12 crimes were reported relating to tools being stolen from vans in South Cambridgeshire.

Police have issued advice to van owners following the thefts. Officers recommend people remove valuable items from vans overnight and store them in a safe place.

They also suggest parking in a well lit area where natural surveillance is optimum, installing a vehicle alarm and GPS tracker, and to mark vehicles using bright coloured paint or an engraving as it makes it less attractive for thieves.

Anyone with information concerning the incidents can contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111. Visit crimestoppers-uk.org for more.

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