A roofer from Dewsbury spread the word after his van was broken into and his business almost ruined – in what has turned out to be a spate of similar crimes.

Dylan Mack lost thousands when thieves tore off the doors of his two vans in September stealing £3,000-worth of equipment.

The theft left him so strapped for cash in replacing the equipment, he even had to give his two employees a week off as he couldn’t afford to pay them.

But Dylan, 42, who has become increasingly concerned over the numerous reports of similar incidents in the area, has since been working to spread the word and stop more tradesmen from falling victim.

A Facebook group called Thefts from Dewsbury and Surrounding Areas was set up in a bid to raise awareness of local crime, which led to dozens of business owners coming forward to say their vans had also been targeted.

Dad-of-one Dylan estimates up to 100 vans in the area have been raided in the two months since he set up the page.

“I think it’s a good way of spreading the word about things going on and also letting criminals in the area know we are on to them”, he said.

 

“I do think the thefts are connected, and linked to Facebook.

“Criminals are able to look up business addresses and access their vans.

“They are tearing open the doors and stealing whatever is inside. You’re looking at between £3,000 and £4,000 worth of equipment in some cases.

Dylan Mack's van after it was broken into in Dewsbury

“When you add that to the cost of the damage to the vans, it’s a big figure and it is enough to totally ruin somebody’s business.

“I am lucky that I have no mortgage to pay, but there are some people who are more vulnerable and less financially stable, or could have just started out. A theft like that is unimaginable.”

Dylan discovered his vans had been broken into one night after returning home from a stag do to see the doors had been torn open and the insides “totally ransacked.”

 

The incident was reported to police, although Dylan claims he has never heard any developments on the investigation.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: “Police are investigating several reports of vans being broken into in the Dewsbury area in December and January.

“Local officers have been following up a number of lines of enquiry and several arrests have been made.

“Anyone who has any information should get in contact with Kirklees police on 101.”