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Van break-in spree

FRUSTRATED tradesmen have hit back after several vans were targeted by thieves in Dumfries last week

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By Zac Hannay
Dumfries and West
Van break-in spree
BREAK-IN THEFT. . . welder and fabricator Steven Ramage had equipment stolen from his van in Dumfries last week

Self employed welder and fabricator Steven Ramage, who runs a fabrication and maintenance solutions company across Dumfries and Galloway, had tools stolen from his vehicle.

He said: “I was off the day it happened, I went out to the van and it failed to lock.

“Everything was gone, it summed up to be around five and a half grands worth of stuff.

“I do on call work as well so don’t have time to constantly keep emptying the van.

“Over the last few days I have had to run around ordering the basics just to get back on my feet.

“I have also had a lot of people in contact offering me help which is nice.”

He believes he was one of several targeted on the same day throughout the town last week.

Steven added: “When I phoned the police the guy said I was the eleventh person that night to call.

“You hear about it happening all the time.”

Unfortunately his neighbours did not hear anything suspicious at the suspected time of the break in, but he feels let down by the police who have not even come out to have a look at his van.

He said: “On Friday afternoon they told me they were not coming, not even sending one police officer round to see it.”

Gordon Paterson from GP Electric Limited also had an attempted break-in on his van.

However, extra security measures in place may have put the thieves off, or they were disturbed while trying to gain entry.

Gordon said: “The van is a bit more secure than standard as it was purchased this way. The door is damaged but useable.

“Our livelihood is inside the van, it’s where our tools of trade are.

“We cannot earn without these tools or supply our service to our many customers.”

He is also frustrated at the police response and said: “The police were contacted the next day when we realised about the damage on the door. A week later and still no contact with our guys in blue.

“There is even CCTV around me, and they have still not turned up to investigate.

“All my tools are marked up and one has the serial numbers, but they will still disappear into the criminal field.

“Van thefts have been rising for years and the police do not want to know, some guys have trackers in their tools and know where they are roughly, but the police still do not want to know.

“But if we find our vehicles being broken into and deal with situation, we are now the criminals instead of the persons carrying out the original crime.

“The public should be allowed to be protected and feel safe. This is Scotland in 2022.”

Witness appeal

POLICE officers are appealing for witnesses after a series of thefts from vehicles in Dumfries.

A total of 11 vehicles were targeted in the Georgetown, Kingholm Quay, Castledykes and Terregles Road area of the town overnight between last Wednesday and Thursday.

Constable Julie McQuillan said: “Our enquiries into these incidents are ongoing and we are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area early last Thursday morning.

“Anyone who can help is asked to call 101, quoting 0473 of 8 December, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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By Zac Hannay | DNG24