MORE than £150,000 worth of tools and machinery has been stolen from vehicles in Taunton and surrounding area over the past five years.

The figures account for the Somerset West area as defined by Avon and Somerset Police, which includes Taunton, Wellington, Bridgwater and West Somerset.

A total of 334 incidents of machinery or tools being stolen from vehicles were reported from 2014 up to this year.

In that time Avon and Somerset Police have arrested just two people for theft from a motor vehicle.

However neither the value of tools not the quantity of thefts of machinery from vehicles has dramatically risen year on year.

Avon and Somerset Police says the value of property stolen is not always recorded so the monetary figures.

The totals below relate to the thefts where the value is recorded.

In 2014, there were 67 incidents of theft of machinery or tools from a vehicle reported, totalling £32,470.

The following year there were 52 cases reported with a value of £41,252 - the highest total value in the last five years.

In 2016 there were 73 incidents reported, totalling £27,334, while 2017 had 59 reports with an estimated value of £22,470 of machinery and tools stolen.

Last year there were 70 incidents reported with £24,565 worth of tools and machinery taken.

The figures available for 2019 include a further 13 incidents totalling £2,042 worth of equipment stolen.