POLICE in East Devon are urging residents to tighten up their security following an increase in rural crime. The warning comes after reports of a number of opportunistic thefts from outbuildings and sheds where tools have been stolen. Metal and catalytic converters have also been targeted by thieves. These offences occur overnight on most days of the week. Residents are urged to ensure their tools are marked and buildings are properly secured and precious metals including copper are marked with individual stamps. Sergeant Julian Pezzani said: We need to work together with the community to catch the criminals and make it more difficult for them to steal. Signs can be posted outside premises to advertise this fact, and if anything is stolen we will be able to trace the goods and inform local businesses where they might attempt to sell the items. We have increased patrols and are actively targeting routes which are used to transport such goods. We have had some success, and our working with partner agencies, such as the Environmental Health Team and VOSA. We are discouraging and detecting crime but as always cannot do this alone and need the help of the public. He added: Never be afraid to report suspicious activity, and please keep vigilant.