Spate of thefts from vehicles in Daventry prompts police email to residents

District Sergeant Sam Dobbs
District Sergeant Sam Dobbs

Daventry's District Sergeant has advised people to ensure their cars and vans aren't easy targets for thieves after a spate of vehicle thefts.

In an email, Sam Dobbs detailed a recent crime spree in January that has seen registration numbers removed from cars, cash stolen from taxis and power tools taken from commercial vans.

A CCTV image of one of the taxi break-ins was circulated on social media

A CCTV image of one of the taxi break-ins was circulated on social media

The series of thefts represent a spike for an area like Daventry and because of his belief the crimes could be a resurge in a series from previous years tackled previously by the force, Sgt Dobbs has reopened Operation Ilford.

"The common feature is that the cars targeted by thieves have either been left insecure or with items on display and visible to thieves," wrote Sgt Dobbs.

"We know that this is a more widespread issue in our town because in 24 hours in December, Emergency Service Cadets spent 24 hours on local estates to identify insecure cars, or cars with valuables on display.

"They checked 2,626 vehicles, and 104 of these checks required contact with the owners to prevent an easy crime.

"This tells me that we have work to do so that Daventry people can help us to help them."

On Saturday, January 12 and the evening of Sunday, January 13, four taxis were broken into on The Grange estate and substantial amounts of cash were stolen.

A CCTV image of one of the break-ins was circulated on social media (pictured).

Overnight Monday into Tuesday (January 14 and 15) two number plates were stolen from vehicles parked at a local hotel at around 7pm and attached
to a car which travelled around the area, changing its number plates during the evening.

With members of the public nearby, entry was forced into three parked commercial vans using an angle grinder.

Sgt Dobbs said the noise and sparks were not noticed or reported by anyone despite it only being 8.30pm and power tools were stolen.

Later the same night, another local hotel was targeted and two further commercial vans were broken into and more power tools were stolen.

Then overnight Wednesday into Thursday (January 16 and 17) two commercial vans were targeted on the Southbrook Estate and power tools were stolen except that in one of these crimes, the owner had chained and padlocked his tools together which thwarted the theft.

In response to the crime spree, Sgt Dobbs has appealed for the public's help.

"I am told that some number plate crimes are not being reported," he said.

"Because this can often be an early indicator of crimes about to happen, it’s crucial that you report such crimes."

"The evidence is that cars are left insecure or with property on display.

"An innocuous shopping bag or a sports bag left on display could still lead to a window being smashed."

He added: "Cash should never be left in cars.

"And remember, some thieves would smash your window to steal the £5 parking change often left in the centre console. So please leave nothing on display."

With regards to power tools, Sgt Dobbs advised they be chained together and said buying an internal shed alarm that texts the owner when the van is entered is a wise investment.

He also recommended vans be left in lit places and tools be labelled with a name or identifiable reference.

"If people didn’t handle or sell stolen goods, there would be less theft," said Sgt Dobbs.

"We are following up items quite openly displayed for sale on Daventry local social media sites, and I need local people to be far more intrusive, less trusting and more unforgiving about power tools being offered for sale by individuals who many know to be… well... simply… ‘dodgy’ people."

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting Operation Ilford.