Police are at RGB Building Supplies in Bideford today (Monday, January 28) offering traders a chance to mark their tools to prevent thefts.

The property marking kits police are giving out to trader at RGB Bideford today (Monday, January 28).The property marking kits police are giving out to trader at RGB Bideford today (Monday, January 28).

The property marking day follows a spate of van break-ins around North Devon, in which thousands-of-pounds worth of tools have been taken.

This year there have already been four or five thefts reported, and police will be at RGB Bideford today until 2pm to talk to traders.

They will also be handing out DNA tool marking kits, which have unique codes meaning if the tools are stolen and recovered, they can be reunited with the owner.

DC Anna Lewis said: “The company that makes the kits quotes a 70 per cent reduction in burglaries where they are used because it brings the stolen tools straight back to the owner.

The property marking kits police are giving out to trader at RGB Bideford today (Monday, January 28).The property marking kits police are giving out to trader at RGB Bideford today (Monday, January 28).

“The biggest thing is that this is not typical tool marking with a pen or engraving.

“It's registered to the victim so there is a much higher chance if stolen of them getting their property back.”

Officers are also giving out stickers warning thefts there are no items of value in the vehicle.

By 9am, a dozen traders had already signed up and received a kit.

Police will also be holding a second property marking day at RGB Barnstaple on Wednesday, February 6, from 8am-2pm.