Power tools worth £2,500 were stolen from the van

A "heartbroken" couple have called on Bristol's IKEA store to improve its security after becoming the latest victims to have their vehicle broken into.

Craig and Katherine Brown from Bradley Stoke had £2,500 worth of power tools stolen from their van, which was parked in the IKEA car park in Eastville. 

The store has previously suffered a spate of thefts in recent years. Between February 2018 and April 2017, Avon and Somerset Police recorded 55 break-ins and thefts from the car park

Mrs Brown, 36, said they were only in IKEA for an hour when they visited the store at around 7.30pm on March 14.

"When we came back, we saw the thieves had drilled a small hole in the back door of the van and taken the tools," she said.

"We also noticed two other vans in the car park had been broken into."

Mrs Brown said her husband Craig, 36, is unable to continue working as a floor layer until the expensive tools are replaced.

"It's going to be a few months before he gets all his tools back," she said. 

"We were heartbroken at first and then it turned to anger.

"I'm just astounded nothing has been done to improve the situation."

She added she wants to raise awareness the thefts are still taking place and called on IKEA to improve its security.

"For me it's about trying to make people realise this is still happening- this is people's livelihoods," she said.

"I don't want to see this happen again to more people. Clearly something more can be done."

What Ikea had to say

Conor Doherty, store manager at IKEA Bristol, said additional security measures were going to be introduced with the support of police.

“At IKEA we take customer safety extremely seriously and are constantly reviewing our procedures to improve safety and security across the entire store site, including our car park," he said.

"We are working closely with the local police to introduce additional preventative measures and regularly support them with crime prevention initiatives across the retail park.”

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: "We received a report at around 8.30pm that a van had been broken into in Eastville on Thursday evening (March 14).

"Power tools were stolen from the van as well as hand tools.

"We are appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious that evening (March 14) to get in contact on 101 and we will be carrying out an investigation in due course."

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