THIEVES are using lock-picking devices to break into a raft of Ford Transit vans across the area, police have warned.
There have been a number of thefts from vehicles, including some parked in Rowlands Castle, in the last month.
Officers said crooks are using the Ford Tibbe pick and decoder tool – a device used by locksmiths – to open the vans.
A police spokesman said: ‘It would appear that entry is being gained to Ford Transit vans using a Ford Tibbe pick and decoder tool which is readily available to purchase online for around £20.
‘Please take extra precautions to prevent this type of crime happening to you. The local neighbourhood policing team will remain committed to supporting victims of crime and targeting offenders.’
Tibbe keys were introduced in 1982 and are considered ‘one of the most effective picking tools in the business’, a police spokesman added.
Drivers are now being urged to park their vans in secure areas like a garage or behind locked gates, as well as not to leave expensive equipment in their vehicles on view.
Other advice includes fitting a Ford Transit door lock protector from locksonline.co.uk and to consider installing secure storage containers or lockers in the van to store tools.