WORK vans have been targeted by thieves who hope to steal tools and other valuables left in them overnight.

Durham police are investigating a spate of crimes in t he last fortnight in which the culprits have attempted or managed to break into vans, almost all white Ford Transits, to take tools.

Neighbourhood Inspector for Spennymoor Warren Edwards said a string of offences are being linked and could the work of a team of criminals travelling around County Durham.

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They include two in Jade Walk, Chilton, overnight on Wednesday. Between Monday, September 11 and Tuesday, September 12, there were incidents in Mendip Green and Rawlinson Close, both Chilton, and Raby Road, Wood Lane and Bamburgh Road, in Ferryhill.That week similar crimes were reported in Newton Aycliffe, Tow Law, Trimdon Station, Wingate and Durham.

Insp Edwards said: "We're appealing for anyone with information about suspicious activity or CCTV footage that could help to ring 101 and for vigilance, owners should remove valuables when parked and ensure security measures are sufficient."