DEVIOUS thieves drove onto building sites in hard-hats to steal tools while workers were on their tea break.

Two Rose Builders sites were targeted by yobs in a grey van last Friday, and two other sites were believed to have also been raided.

During the day a grey van drove Rose Builders' Lawford Green development, off Bromley Road, and the occupants, dressed in high viability clothing and hard hats, helped themselves to a number of tools while the site was on its tea break.

The van, with the registration number YH18 AZW, then drove off.

A worker, who asked not to be named, said about £3,000 worth of tools were taken from the Lawford site at about 10am.

At Rose Builders' Weeley site, the thieves used master keys to access the rear doors of vans and cars whilst the site was working to steal tools and equipment.

It is understood the same grey van carried out a similar operation on the Hopkins site in Mistley and another contractor's site in Weeley.

A Rose Builders spokesman said: "All incidents, van description and registration number and CCTV have been reported to the police.

"All building and construction sites should be extremely vigilant and aware of any unknown vehicles or persons accessing their sites, however confident or appropriately dressed they are."

Essex Police and Hopkins Homes have been contacted for comments.