The Ford Transit was the most stolen van Tracker recovered in 2021, accounting for 64% of all of its LCV recoveries, followed by the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Peugeot Boxer and Vauxhall Combo.
With keyless car entry systems becoming increasingly commonplace, it is no surprise that 89% of vans stolen and recovered by Tracker in 2021 were stolen without the thief having possession of the keys.
Keyless car theft accounted for 94% of all vehicles recovered by Tracker last year, reaching an all-time high.
Clive Wain, head of police liaison for Tracker, said: “One of our most notable stolen LCV recoveries last year saw thieves use a company’s £30,000 Transit van to load up thousands of pounds worth of IT and plant equipment that was onsite worth over £200,000.
“If Essex police hadn’t been able to re-trace the van’s journey using its Tracker device, then it’s highly likely the stolen equipment would have never been found.”
Van owners and tradespeople need to be extra vigilant, because they often have more to lose than just their mode of transport, says Tracker.
Tools and equipment worth thousands of pounds are frequently stored in vans too. According to a survey carried out by Screwfix, 49% of tradesmen leave tools and equipment in their van overnight.
Tracker’s vehicle tracking systems are supported nationwide by UK police forces. Its detection units are fitted to more than 2,000 police patrol vehicles and throughout the national fleet of Police helicopters that comprise the National Police Air Service (NPAS).
“Whether the victim is a sole trader, small business or larger fleet operator, the theft of a van will have a financial impact such as the loss of work, cost of replacing tools and equipment, and a likely increase in insurance premiums,” said Wain.
“However, there are security barriers that can be used to deter thieves, such as CCTV, traditional steering wheel locks and wheel clamps.
“If the vehicle has a keyless entry system, when it’s not in use, place the van’s key fob into a signal blocking pouch which is lined with layers of metallic material. This will stop a key's signal from being intercepted by would-be thieves.
“In the event of a van being stolen, an SVR solution will significantly increase the chances of it being quickly recovered and returned before it’s sold on, stripped for parts or shipped abroad.”