Since February, 15 additional burglaries to work vans have been reported, Community Lead Officer Tino Saloomen said.
“These tools are their lives,” he said of the vehicles’ owners. “Without these tools, they can’t make a living, so it really hits home.”
Thieves have been targeting large white work vans, including Ford, Chevrolet and GMCs, parked on city streets, Saloomen said.
Crime analysts have determined that most work van burglaries occur on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday, he said, usually between 1 and 5 a.m.
“When they come back Monday morning to go to work because they got that contract, they can’t,” Saloomen said.
Drills, saws, compressors, torches and other power tools have been stolen from inside the vans, along with navigation systems and their chargers.
Thieves have punched out locks on vehicle doors that were secluded and away from public streets. Detectives are still trying to determine the type of device being used to punch out the door locks, Saloomen said.
Rear license plates have also been removed to gain access to door locks, police reported.
“It only takes a few seconds to get inside these trucks,” Saloomen said.
He advised residents to park their work vans in a secured, well-lit parking area and to hide all personal belongings.