Stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert Tracker is urging owners of vans to ensure their vehicles are better protected.
The latest report by NaVCIS (National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service) reports that the Ford Transit was the most frequently stolen vehicle in the UK in 2015. Worryingly, only one third of stolen Ford Transits are ever recovered and returned to their owners, compared to a national average of 55% of cars and 38% of light goods vehicles.
According to the report, of the 11,000 Ford vehicles reported stolen, almost half of those were Transit vans.
Although the report highlights the West Midlands as a hotspot accounting for 10% of all Ford Transit thefts, the issue has spread nationwide. In West Yorkshire alone, the total value of all Ford Transit vans stolen in 2015 was in excess of £7.5million.
The Mercedes Sprinter were second most commonly stolen with thefts particularly focusing on models manufactured between 2013 and 2015.
In comparison, Ford Transit vans manufactured between 2006 and 2011 are most frequently stolen.
Vehicles are often stolen without keys and once in a ‘safe’ location, thieves quickly break down the vehicles for component parts to be sold on.
As Ford Transit models are commonly utilized by small businesses, a theft of one can result in a hefty loss of business and potential future work as a result of damaged reputation.
“The NaVCIS report states that whilst Ford Transit vans are the sixth most popular vehicle on the road, they are the most commonly stolen,” said Andy Barrs, head of police liaison at Tracker, part of the Tantalum corporation.
“This means that the number of Transits stolen is disproportionate to the number of vehicles on the road, which is bad news for sole traders and small businesses who rely on their vehicle for work.
“Although using a Tracker may not stop vehicles from being stolen in the first place, it dramatically increases the likelihood of it being recovered before it’s too late.”
Tracker’s SVR systems work like an electronic homing device. A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle, and there is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t even know it’s there. It combines GSM, GPS and VHF technology, and its use of VHF technology makes it resilient to ‘jamming’, creating the most robust SVR device available.
Jamming devices, readily available on the internet, are increasingly being used by thieves to disrupt GPS/GSM signals so that the police are unable to track and locate stolen vans fitted with SVR devises that rely on GPS alone.