Commercial vans now target for thieves across Pinellas County

Police: 11 vans broken into in the past few weeks
Posted at 5:38 PM, May 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-10 17:38:37-04

More than ten commercial vans have been broken into across Pinellas County and now, those businesses say it could end up costing you money. 

TB Roofing & Construction was on the job in a quiet Clearwater neighborhood when one of the workers made a troubling discovery.

"One of the guys needed to make phone call and he came around to get his phone out of the truck and realized we'd all been hit," said Frank Foote with TB Roofing & Construction.

Their tools, along with the workers' wallets and cell phones had been stolen right out of their work truck.

"They got several things. Pretty much anything they could pick up and go with," Foote said.

Clearwater Police are now getting reports of commercial vans being burglarized all across Pinellas County. Police are stepping up their patrols and are going neighborhood to neighborhood, approaching workers and urging them to be on alert.

"It can happen within a matter of minutes," said Rob Shaw with the Clearwater Police Dept. "All it takes is a minute or to of inattention."

Police say during the past several weeks, there have been numerous thefts from unlocked work vehicles. They said these incidents are happening in neighborhoods while workers are completing repairs or other services. This is happening during the day and in the middle of residential neighborhoods, police said. 

"That hits people really hard in the pocketbook and people can't afford to lose that kind of money," Shaw said.

These businesses also say this could end up costing customers.

"Any kind of equipment that has to be replaced, somewhere along the line, that price has to be figured in," Foote said.

Police say always be sure to lock your work vehicle, take your key sand remove or secure any valuables.