A BROMSGROVE mechanic claims he has been forced to make his own street lamp after his van and neighbours’ cars were targeted by thieves.
Chris Beech, of Aintree Close, Catshill, said he had to take the drastic step to make the area safer after Worcestershire County Council turned off the street lights in the road to save cash.
He added he was now paying an additional 40p a night to power the LED floodlight which is hoisted up on a pole outside his home and switches on at midnight and off at 6am.
It all began after thieves broke the lock off his van and stole two of his trailers from his drive.
Mr Beech said his neighbour’s car had also been targeted by thieves the night before she was due to go on holiday with her children. They crawled under her vehicle and stole a catalytic converter.
He added two other vans on Churchill Road near his other house were also targeted – one had almost £10,000 worth of tools taken, and although those responsible were caught on CCTV they still have not been found.
Mr Beech said: “I wanted to do something straight away because I work shifts I have to come and go at all hours.
“I was out there the other morning trying to defrost my van and I could not see anything it was so pitch black.
“I thought if I was an elderly person this would be quite frightening.”
Chris added he had spoken to his neighbours and they all agreed it was dangerous when darkness fell and, although the light did look a bit out of place, they understood why he was doing it.
They said it also helped them when they came back late and needed to see in the dark.
“It is just a matter of time before thieves realise they have six hours of covered darkness to do what they like and something needs to be done.” he said.
“No one will want to be hanging around the van or the trailers with that shining on them.
“Street lighting is a part of the service we pay for and cutting back on it is a real problem.
“I am trying to bring crime down on this street – the total darkness makes it a playing field for any thief out there.”
A Worcestershire County Council spokesperson said the authority was investigating the situation.