Burnt Tree vehicle rental is urging van drivers to ‘think thief’ as it launches a campaign to help cut thefts of and from light commercial vehicles.
With the number of thefts increasing, the UK’s leading rental company has launched a 12-page guide offering advice to drivers within small to medium sized companies.
It is also partnering with security product company ProtectAVan to offer a range of the latest anti-theft devices to outwit the criminals.
Some 47 million commercial vehicles are stolen each year at a cost of £152 million in lost assets.
Andrew Hill, marketing manager for Burnt Tree, said: “As a responsible rental company with a total fleet of some 15,000 vehicles we are only too aware of the challenges businesses can face if their vans are stolen.
“The damage to your business can be significant. Not only do you lose valuable time that should be spent on the road but you also have to deal with the hassle of informing the police and your insurers before you can even think of finding a replacement vehicle.
“Worse still, if your van was full of expensive tools when it was taken then the inconvenience will be significant and you have to bear the cost of replacement.
“That’s why we’ve produced this guide in partnership with ProtectAVan and are urging drivers to ‘think thief’ and always be on the lookout.”
As well as rising numbers of vehicle thefts there has also been a change in behaviour with the criminals becoming increasingly organised and sophisticated, as evidenced by the dramatic rise in offenders using a key – up from 9% in 1995 to 46% in 2011/12.
“Some of the ‘key thefts’ are down to the carelessness of the driver but increasingly it’s cloned keys and computer software, compounded by the easy availability of lock picks on the internet and videos that show you how to use them that’s to blame,” said Hill.
“Others use lock jammers, so you think you’ve locked your van but you haven’t. And when they get inside they can plug a laptop into your on-board diagnostics and bypass the vehicle security.
“They can be in and driving off in less than four minutes, less than the time it takes to buy a coffee or a newspaper.”