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‘It’s an inconvenience you can do without’ White van man in warning after falling victim to spate of thefts

PUBLISHED: 11:48 24 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:46 24 December 2018

Colin Empson, with his van that was damaged in an attack. PIC: Supplied by Colin Empson.

Colin Empson, with his van that was damaged in an attack. PIC: Supplied by Colin Empson.

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A man whose white removals van had its tyres slashed and window damaged has today issued a warning to others following a spate of white van thefts across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Colin Empson's van which was damaged. Submitted by Colin Empson.Colin Empson's van which was damaged. Submitted by Colin Empson.

Police are continuing to investigate after 12 Mercedes Sprinter vans were stolen from addresses in Great Yarmouth, Norwich, Attleborough, Thetford, Stalham, Bawdeswell and Wymondham in the past few weeks.

The thefts follow a similar purge in the Broadland area earlier this year when 13 vans were broken into between March 30 and April 6.

Police in Suffolk too have been targeting van thieves following the theft of power tools from a van in October and seven similar incidents in March last year.

Police say investigations are ongoing into the van thefts.

Colin Empson's van which was damaged. Submitted by Colin Empson.Colin Empson's van which was damaged. Submitted by Colin Empson.

But officers are also continuing to investigate after Colin Empson’s white removals van had its windows smashed and two of its tyres slashed in an attack at Chapel Terrace, Smallburgh.

Following the incident, which happened sometime between 10pm and 10.30pm on December 11, Mr Empson said: “It’s just an inconvenience that you can do without. My van should’ve been out at 8am but didn’t get out until 3.15pm.”

The 38-year-old said it was the first time he had been a victim of car crime and has urged others to be vigilant.

He said: “Just make sure your doors are locked and having CCTV helps. It’s another expense, but it helps cover your vehicles.”

Colin Empson's van which was damaged. Submitted by Colin Empson.Colin Empson's van which was damaged. Submitted by Colin Empson.

Mr Empson said CCTV at his property appears to have picked up a Vauxhall Vectra car in the area at the time the damage occurred.

Vans have been stolen from a number of addresses across the county, including Ipswich Road, Norwich (on September 27), Victoria Road, Great Yarmouth and St George’s Road, Yarmouth (both October 15), Castle Street, Thetford and St Benets Road, Stalham (both October 23), Trafalgar Road, Yarmouth (October 29), Ayton Road, Wymondham (November 1), The Street and Folland Court, Bawdeswell (November 6), Alderson Road, Yarmouth (November 14), and Hackford near Wymondham and Girling Road, Dereham (November 21).

Anyone with information about the criminal damage or thefts should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Following a spate of vehicle crime across Norfolk and Suffolk, police have issued the following advice to owners aimed at preventing them from becoming victims.

• Do not leave anything on display in your car, thieves can sometimes mistake them for valuables and the damage they can do to the car to get

in can be costly.

• Take all your belongings with you when you leave the car. If you cannot, then lock them in the boot out of sight.

• CD Players and Stereos – remove them if you can, get them security marked and keep a note of serial numbers.

• Sat Navs – remove unit and holder from windscreen, wipe the residue circle from the screen (this could indicate to a thief you have hidden the

unit in the car).

• Keep your keys safe.

• Fit security devices - electronic immobiliser, mechanical immobiliser, locking wheel nuts, vehicle alarm.

Call 101 to report a crime.

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