A series of thefts from vans in Amble has prompted an alert from Northumbria Police.
Over the last week, there has been a number of van break-ins in the seaside town and surrounding areas, with thieves making off with tools, value currently unknown.
Police are now urging van drivers to 'lock it or lose it' and are reminding tradesmen and delivery drivers that taking a few moments to secure their vans could prevent a costly crime.
Neighbourhood Inspector Liz Hall said: "Thieves can strike when a van is left unlocked, or when workmen or delivery drivers are just away for a few moments.
"The tools they store in their vans are often their livelihood so I'd urge people, where possible, to remove expensive items overnight. It may take a few minutes to do this but ultimately it could save a lot of anger and frustration, not to mention financial loss."
Simple steps such as parking your van with the rear door against the garage or wall, to stop thieves from being able to open it, can make a difference.
If anyone sees someone hanging around the street where they live - behaving suspiciously, trying car doors or acting out of the ordinary in any way, then contact police straight away.
Insp Hall added: "We're also asking for anyone with information about these recent crimes, or for anyone who may know who is responsible for them, to contact officers on 101"
For more crime prevention advice visit http://www.northumbria.police.uk/advice_and_information/crime_prevention/vehicle_security/commercial_vehicles/
Police can be contacted on 101, to report a crime ongoing dial 999.
Motorists are also reminded to take a few minutes to sign up to the free property registering website www.Immobilise.com, which ensures if property is stolen and later recovered, it's easily returned to the rightful owner.