The vast majority (89%) of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) stolen and recovered by Tracker in 2018 were taken without the owner’s keys.
This is up from 82% the previous year, with the Ford Transit the most stolen and recovered van, followed by the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
“In 2018, our analysis shows that nearly half a million pounds worth of vans were stolen and recovered by Tracker,” said Clive Wain, head of police liaison at Tracker.
“Keyless entry technology is becoming the norm in the LCV market, but thieves are constantly finding new ways to exploit weaknesses in modern security systems, which is leading to a rise in van thefts.”
Tracker recommends using additional deadlocks and steel-clad locks, as standard locks are easy for thieves to pick. Slam locks ensure a door locks every time it’s closed – ideal for quick stops, it said.
It also suggests that fleet operators should reinforce doors to stop thieves prising open sliding doors by adding an extra lock at the top or reinforcing the top of the doors.
Furthermore, fleets could add extra alarms to vans and use immobilisers, make sure tools are removed from vans overnight and install a tracking device to help police recover a stolen van and close the net on thieves, it says.
“SMEs need to think about protecting their vans because that ultimately protects their bottom line,” said Wain. “Don’t just rely on the security technology that comes as standard with a new van, take additional steps to deter criminals from stealing your livelihood.
“Although installing a tracking device won’t stop a van being stolen, it does significantly increase the chances of police locating and recovering it, minimising the impact of theft on a business.”
Tracker with the police has to date recovered over £534 million worth of stolen vehicles and continues to recover on average £1 million worth of stolen vehicles each month.