Police believe the incidents are organised and could be linked to two other sprees that have taken place across the region in the last two months.

Police in North Devon are urging tradesmen to take precautions after another spate of vehicle break-ins.

Seven more break-ins were reported over the weekend between Friday, January 26 and Monday, January 29 in different locations across the wider Barnstaple area including Landkey, Swimbridge and Bickington. It is thought the value of tools stolen adds up to thousands of pounds.

Police said entry has been gained to the vans by both force and unknown means to a Peugeot Expert van parked in Bickington; Ford Transit van parked in Broadfield Road, Newport; Ford Transit van parked in Swimbridge; Ford Transit van parked in Blakehill Road, Landkey; and a Peugeot Boxer van parked in North Road, South Molton.

Police believe the incidents are organised and could be linked to two other sprees that have taken place across the region in the last two months.

A number of vans were broken into in the Barnstaple before Christmas, with four incidents between December 2 and 6.

Thousands of pounds worth of power tools were also stolen from vans in the Ilfracombe area earlier this month.

Barnstaple Police Community Support Officer Tony Charles said: “Over the course of the weekend we’ve had a further seven vehicle break-ins.

“Offenders appear to be travelling the streets looking for vehicles containing workmen’s tools such as power tools.

“I can’t stress strongly enough that people such as self-employed tradesmen, who use tools as their livelihood, take them out of their vehicles.

“We know it can be a pain, but the alternative is they could be without their trade.”

Police have also asked van owners to consider additional external locks, vehicle alarms and internal caging or boxes.

They also ask tradesmen keep copies of serial numbers and take pictures of tools, as well as mark them with names and postcodes.

Police are keen to hear from anyone who has seen anything suspicious, or may have been cold-called by people selling power tools.

Information can be passed on via 101@dc.police.uk quoting van break-ins in Barnstaple. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.