SOUTH Yorkshire Police officers have issued a warning to drivers of Ford Transit vans to be aware that thieves appear to be targeting the model.

It follows some incidents where suspects have managed to gain entry without having to force their way in.

On each occasion, no damage was done and it is believed offenders are using a device to bypass the vans’ locking systems.

Barnsley district’s crime reduction officer, Jack Regan, said: “It’s vital that owners and drivers are vigilant. We know it may take time at the end of a long day’s work to remove valuables, but we do recommend you do so especially overnight.

“I also appreciate it isn’t always an option for those who have nowhere else to keep them. If this is the case, please consider investing in a robust van vault where you can lock away all your valuable tools.

“It is also wise to insure work tools. This is important because most standard van insurance policies do not cover loss of tools left in a van overnight.

“I am aware that many self-employed trade people are dependent on their van and work tools. Damage to the van and time to restock an extensive collection of specialist tools can take time.

“The disruption is frustrating and costly, as without the necessary tools, it’s not possible to complete the jobs currently being worked on or take on new projects.”

Anyone who needs to contact the police about van thieves can call 101.