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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Cumbria police targeting vehicle battery thieves

Vehicle batteries – some from heavy-duty machinery – are being targeted by thieves looking to cash in on their scrap value.

Police are investigating a spate of thefts and attempted thefts of batteries from vehicles, urging people to ensure their property is properly secured.

Their plea for vigilance comes in the wake of a string of incidents in one town where commercial compounds were targeted.

They happened over several days in Egremont, although problems are regularly reported in other parts of the county.

Witnesses are being sought to catch those responsible.

PC Lauren Brown said: “We advise owners of commercial vehicles to be vigilant.

“It’s important to ensure your vehicle is secure and consideration should be given to where vehicles are parked during darkness.”

In the latest incidents at Egremont:

  • Thieves stole a battery from a dumper truck parked near the West Lakes Academy between January 12 and 14
  • Raiders were disturbed trying to take a battery from a road sweeper at Mayson Brothers, Chapel Street, on the evening of January 13
  • Items were stolen from offices and an attempt made to take a battery from a JCB digger between January 14 and 15
  • An attempt was made to steal a battery from a mobile crane, also between January 14 and 15

PC Brown added: “Owners should use defensive parking methods to make access very difficult to battery compartments and diesel tanks, and where possible avoid isolated areas which are not overlooked by occupied properties.

“Highly visible marking of batteries, by use of permanent marker and company name, for example, can make it more difficult for thieves to sell them on, and therefore deter theft.

“Forensic coding products are also worth considering for batteries intended for longer term use, as part of a wider asset marking strategy.”

Anyone with information about those responsible for the crimes should call Whitehaven police on 101. Details can also be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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