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'Sat Nav' Warning To Van Drivers In Cheltenham
Police in Cheltenham are urging van drivers with satellite navigation systems in their vehicles to take steps to prevent thieves from stealing the valuable equipment.
Local officers have issued the warning after 'Sat Nav' systems were stolen from three vans left parked in Cheltenham on Thursday December 14.
The first van, a Mercedes Vito, was broken into in Springbank Road at around 11.20am.
Those responsible for the theft, two white males in their 20s wearing hooded tops and riding bikes, made off in the direction of Ettington Close.
Ten minutes later a Tom Tom Sat Nav system, worth £400, was stolen from another Mercedes Vito that had been parked on St Georges Business Park in Alstone Lane.
One of the offenders has been described as a white male youth, around 15 years old, wearing a hooded top and riding a bike.
The final theft occurred in the car park of Sainsbury's supermarket on the Gallagher Retail Park between 6.30pm and 7pm.
On this occasion offenders smashed one of the windows of a Ford Transit van and stole a Tom Tom system worth £270.
Insp Erik Sherwood, of Cheltenham police, said it was important for van drivers to take precautions to avoid becoming a victim of crime.
"Satellite navigation systems are a favourite target for criminals as they are small, relatively easy to steal and they usually have a high value," he said.
"The majority of portable Sat Nav systems are attached to the windscreen of a vehicle by a sucker. This makes it easy for the driver to use the equipment, but it also displays it to any thieves that might be about - like a shop window.
"If drivers don't take their satellite navigation system with them when they park it only takes a thief a matter of seconds to smash a window and steal it.
He added: "When you remove your Sat Nav system rub out the tell-tale mark left by the sucker when it comes free.
"Offenders look for this mark and break into vehicles expecting to find a satellite navigation system somewhere in the vehicle.
"They may not end up with the equipment if you have taken it with you, but that will be small consolation when you are presented with the bill for the damaged they have caused."
: 15/12/2006 16:43:29
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