New data from Tracker shows that 82% of vans were stolen without the keys last year, an increase of 44% over 2016.
The Ford Transit was again the most popular van stolen and accounted for more than half of the LCV recoveries made by Tracker.
“Keyless entry technology has now been widely adopted in the LCV market, and this is evident in the fact that last year there was a two-fold increase in LCVs being stolen without the owner’s keys,” confirms Andy Barrs, head of police liaison at Tracker.
“The relatively new trend in vehicle theft termed ‘relay attack’, that allows criminals to harness more sophisticated theft techniques to overcome existing vehicle security technology, such as immobilisers and keyless entry systems, has played a significant part in this increase.”
The impact of van theft goes beyond just having the inconvenience of being without a vehicle. As well as the hassle of dealing with insurers to get a vehicle replaced, owners need to consider the financial impact – increase in insurance premiums, cost of replacing tools, not to mention the administration cost of dealing with everything. Brand reputation can be at risk too if a business cannot serve its customers.
Barrs concludes, “It is worth remembering it’s not just about protecting your van from being stolen but safeguarding your business too. Technology is just one part of vehicle security and more vigilance needs to be taken across the board; this includes van owners, manufacturers, dealers, insurers and the police. Whilst a tracking device won’t stop a van being stolen, it can significantly increase the chances of the police locating and returning it to its rightful owner.”