POLICE are urging delivery drivers to stay vigilant after a number of thefts in the area. 

The most recent incident happened on Ettingham Avenue/Evesham Road in Park End yesterday, (Thursday) around 4.10pm.

Two suspects approached a parked delivery van and removed three parcels. 

There have been at least 19 similar incidents reported in recent months, across the Cleveland area.  

Delivery drivers are being urged to stay vigilant, ensure that they do not leave doors insecure and remove the keys from the vehicle whilst delivering, even if only leaving the van for a few moments.  

Other vehicles have also been targeted for parcels, including a Vauxhall Corsa whereby the window was smashed.

On Sunday, January 3, two suspects wearing balaclavas approached a white Vauxhall Corsa on Hershall Drive, Middlesbrough, around 2.30pm and smashed a vehicle window to steal a number of parcels. 

PC Mike Pilbeam said: “There has been a recent rise in the number of thefts from vehicles that we have seen, particularly where delivery drivers have been targeted in order to steal parcels. 

“We would again like to remind delivery drivers to stay vigilant and ensure that doors are kept secure and keys are removed from the vehicle. It can take just seconds for an opportunist thief to jump into a vehicle and steal parcels or drive the van away.

"We know that people shouldn’t have to, but it’s a sad reality that there are people out there who look for opportunities to steal. 

“We’d also like to ask all motorists to ensure that no valuables are left on show in vehicles which could be easily seen by passers by. Please remove all valuables from vehicles if possible. 

“We are carrying out enquiries into all of the incidents reported to us, however, ensuring that doors are kept locked can be enough to deter an opportunist thief and help prevent a crime taking place. We don’t want anyone who relies on their transport for work to have their income compromised due to incidents like these.”

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or go online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.