TRADESMEN have been left counting the costs after power tools were stolen in a spate of overnight van break-ins.

Between 11pm on October 23 and 2am the next day, 10 vehicles in areas of Pauls Dene, Castle Road, Cornwall Road, Devizes Road, Highbury Avenue and Christie Miller Road were broken into.

In one incident, £900 worth of tools including brand new Makita drills and an angle grinder were stolen from a Fiat Ducato in Highfield Road.

In another incident, £800 worth of power tools were stolen from a Citroen Berlingo in Christie Miller Road.

PC Martyn Powell said: “We believe a man disturbed the offenders at approximately 12.20am in the area of Highbury Avenue and Macklin Road – we are really keen to speak to this man.

“These incidents have affected many local tradespeople who work in our local community who will have to pay to replace stolen items and the damage caused to their vehicles in some instances. This will no doubt affect their livelihoods.

"“I’d like to advise all vehicle owners to check the security of their vehicles and install additional physical locks on rear or side doors. Please also try and remove valuable items such as tools from your vehicles at night.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.