Thefts of vans from Torfaen: Advice for van owners

Are you a van owner? We’re warning all van owners to be vigilant following a number of van thefts in the Pontypool and Cwmbran areas of Gwent.


In the last couple of days, two vans have been stolen. The first Ford Transit van was white, registration number BL60 RUW and was stolen from the car park behind Victoria Street in Cwmbran sometime between 4.30pm on Wednesday 10th January and 7.15am on Thursday 11th January 2018.


The second was another white Ford Transit van registration number MF55 AUU and was stolen from outside an address in The Woodlands, Talywain in Pontypool sometime between 9.30pm on Wednesday 10th January and 8am on Thursday 11th January. Tools including a disc cutter and chain saw where inside the van and were also stolen.


Anyone who has any information about the whereabouts of these vehicles or if you know who is responsible, please call 101 quoting log number 68 11/1/18 (Cwmbran theft) or 67 11/1/18 (Talywain theft).


If you’re a van owner and would like to know how to protect your vehicle, officers are offering this advice…


Make sure your van’s locked: Yes, we know it’s obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people forget to lock their van when unloading/loading. If you have a van with automatic folding mirrors it’s a great visual way of checking whether it’s locked or not, but nothing beats the reassurance of going out and double checking that you’ve locked it.

Don’t leave valuables on display: Despite all of the notices in car parks, lots of builders will leave valuables on display. Tool bags, sat navs, wallets – they’re all adverts for thieves that there’s something worth stealing inside your van. Even if you have a bag with nothing in it – the temptation is still there for a thief so hide it away. The criminal may get away with nothing, but you’ll still have a broken window and all the cost and inconvenience of replacing it.


Consider investing in additional security: Anything to deter a criminal helps if it makes their job harder.  Steering, handbrake and transmission locks still exist and they provide an extra obstacle for thieves to overcome.

Don’t leave your van keys by the front door: We’ve all heard the stories of people using coat hanger wire to fish van keys through a letterbox from a hallway table, yet most of us think it will never happen to us. Thieves will always go for the easiest route – and that involves having the keys. After all there’s no need to force doors or break windows when they can simply get in and drive away. So don’t leave your van keys on display at home or on site.


Make sure it has an alarm and immobiliser: Cheaper and older vans will come with neither so it’s worth investing in a decent alarm.

Trackers: A tracker might not keep a criminal from stealing your van, but it’ll give you a much better chance of getting it and your tools back. There are various types of tracker for all kinds of budgets so it’s worth looking into.