HARD-WORKING tradespeople have been left reeling after a spate of van break-ins across the Stourbridge and Brierley Hill areas.

Electrician Steve Bull said around £1,000 of power tools were taken from his van parked near his home near Moor Street, Brierley Hill, in the early hours of Tuesday March 3 and two vans owned by Walker Electrics were targeted on the same night at separate locations.

Power tools, worth around £1,000, were taken in the first raid in Cradley Heath, and in the second, also off Moor Street, the offenders smashed the windows of a van which was empty and fitted with deadlocks following an earlier attack two months ago.

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Steve Bull, a self-employed electrician, said he heard a car pull up near his home and within 45 seconds the offenders had broken into his Renault Kangoo and taken his tools - and he has no idea how they got into the van.

A hammer was also thrown at the property by the offenders before they fled.

Mr Bull, aged 30, said the incident left him feeling sick and unable to sleep afterwards but he said: "Friends have been brilliant. Boxing promoter Nick Smith has donated £100 and he's running an auction for a signed Tyson Fury glove to help."

The incident in Cradley Heath happened at around 1.15am - with the incidents in Brierley Hill unfolding at around 3am.

A video showing a car stopping in cul-de-sac, off Moor Street, and a man checking the doors to an unlocked van parked in the street has also emerged on Facebook.

Nothing was taken as the van was empty - but it is believed to have happened minutes before the other two incidents off Moor Street, in which three people wearing dark clothing were seen.

Similar break-ins are also believed to have happened this week in Quarry Bank, Amblecote and Sedgley.

Dudley South MP Mike Wood said of the spate of offences: "Although crime in Dudley South has fallen slightly over the past year, being a victim of crime has a huge psychological impact that often goes well beyond the value of items stolen or physical injuries sustained.

"People in our area are particularly worried about burglaries and thefts from vehicles, and I regularly raise these with the police.

"With West Midlands Police expecting to get around 1,200 extra police officers over the next three years, we need to make sure Dudley South gets our fair share of them and that those extra officers are deployed in neighbourhood and response roles where they can make our communities safer and bring criminals to justice.

"It's also worth reiterating how important it is that all crime is recorded to the police – because information about a crime in one area can help police to predict patterns of crime elsewhere and help to catch those responsible.”

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said of the indidents: "We have received reports of three vans being broken into and tools taken in the Brierley Hill area overnight on Tuesday March 3.

"It is unclear at this stage whether these incidents are linked.

"We would advise vehicle owners to keep any valuable items out of sight, park in a well-lit area and consider fitting an alarm system. More advice can be found at www.west-midlands.police.uk/your-options/theft-motor-vehicle-0/#prevention.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact us via Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight or by calling 101 anytime."