BRAZEN thieves were caught on camera targeting work vans containing thousands of pounds of tools.

In just two days, police received five complaints of work vans being broken into in Barrow and Dalton.

Victims said they fear the thieves maybe connected to organised crime and will target more small businesses in Barrow, Ulverston and Furness if they are not caught.

CCTV footage from one of this weekend's six thefts show the thief gained access to the vehicles with a multi-entry fob which enabled them to break into six transit vans without using forcing entry.

Nigel Atkinson, who owns Atkinson Plastering Ltd, had £2,000 of goods stolen from two of his vans which were parked in Coronation Drive, Dalton and Low White Close, Ormsgill on Saturday night.

His wife, Angela, who also works for the company, spoke of her frustration at being targeted.

She said: “You just don’t expect someone to do something like this to try and make a quick buck.

“We need those tools to be able to work, it’s a complete invasion of privacy.

“This has to be organised crime, it’s extremely serious and we want something done about it.”

Mr and Mrs Atkinson later discovered their tools, which consisted of two drills, a screw gun, and a levelling tool, had been posted on the reselling site Ebay.

Mrs Atkinson said: “The Ebay profile has been traced back to Wolverhampton so I’m hoping the police are able to track down who did this.”

At least £6,000 of tools were stolen from thefts in Ainslie Street, Barrow, Ruskin Avenue, Dalton, Coronation Drive, Dalton, Low White Close, Ormsgill, Hazel Gill, Barrow and Long Lane, Barrow.

Sgt David Proctor said: “Clearly these offenders are targeting work vans as many contain expensive items.

“Thieves are often opportunists so please ensure you lock doors and don’t leave valuable possessions in sight.

“Ideally remove property from the vehicle where possible.”

PCSO Samantha Thomas urged anyone with information about the thefts or those responsible to call police on 101.