GANGS of youths on mopeds have targeted vans across Southampton in a second spate of break-ins.

Vans across Southampton have been vandalised or broken into in the last week.

Two youths on mopeds caught trying to break into a van in Springford Gardens are said to have smashed its windows with a crowbar when confronted by the owner.

They then sped off following the incident in the Coxford area of the city just before 3.30am last Friday.

Hours later a black Ford Transit was vandalised in Arnheim Road with the passenger-side window shattered.

However, nothing was stolen.

Meanwhile, police were called on Monday morning following a report of thieves trying to tear off the side panel of a van in Windermere Avenue, Millbrook.

According to police, the incidents are not being linked at this time but similar crimes are “reviewed and link incidents where evidentially appropriate”.

Officers will reportedly be ramping up patrols in the area over the next couple of weeks.

Residents are urged to report any incidents and information by calling 101 or via the Hampshire police website.

As previously reported in August, vehicles in the Coxford, Redbridge and Shirley areas of Southampton were “emptied of work tools”.

Vans belonging to tradesmen were believed to be the thieves’ target.

Residents claimed some of the thefts were by a group of youngsters on mopeds.

Coxford Road, Taranto Road, Dunvegan Drive and Sandpiper Road are all said have been hit.

In a separate incident, a delivery driver was assaulted by a gang of youths when he tried to take back his stolen moped.

The 23-year-old rider parked his vehicle on Evenlode Road only to find it had been stolen on Friday, August 14.

When he tried to reclaim the it in Mansel Park he was attacked.

Only when residents came to his rescue and the group ran off towards Kendal Avenue he was able to get it back.