WORKMEN in the Camberley area are being warned to be on their guard against thieves who are stealing tools from parked vans.

Police issued the alert following a spate of such thefts in the area in recent weeks.

In most cases the vans have been broken into while parked overnight outside the owners' homes.

PC Jim Strugnell, of Surrey Heath police, has been given the task of spreading the "beat the thieves" message. He is urging workmen to either park their vans in a garage, or to back their vehicles tight against a wall so that the back doors cannot be opened. Security lighting and vehicle security alarms have proved to be effective in frightening off thieves.

Above all, he says, valuable tools should not be left on display in vans or cars. "Take them indoors at night," advises PC Strugnell. Contact him on 01276 27131, or call Surrey Crimestoppers anonymously and free: 0800 555 111.