Van theft warning on run-up to Christmas

Thief breaking into vehicle

Van thieves are at their busiest in the countdown to Christmas, according to Tracker, with darker evenings and morning frosts creating more chances for the opportunistic.

Ford Transit owners should pay particular warning, it says, as it was the most stolen van it recovered during 2021, accounting for 64% of all Tracker LCV recoveries.  

“It may come as no surprise that thieves use the cover of darkness to steal vehicles as the longer nights provide a greater window of opportunity to act undetected,” said Clive Wain, head of police liaison at Tracker.

“However, our data indicates that the run up to Christmas is the time van owners should be most on their guard, particularly those taking advantage of seasonal delivery job opportunities to earn some extra cash.

“There is never a good time to fall victim to van theft, but losing your van, the tools or goods in them and potentially your ability to work, might be harder to bear right now.”

The Mercedes Benz Sprinter, which has been one of the UK’s best-selling vans so far this year is also a prime target, according to Tracker. It was the second most stolen and recovered vehicle in 2021, closely followed by the Peugeot Boxer and Vauxhall Combo.

With a global shortage of spare parts, Tracker is warning that even vans in a poor condition can be appealing to thieves, as they can be stolen to strip for parts in chop shops.

Wain continued: “It doesn’t matter if you are a one-man-band or bigger business, no-one can afford the financial and emotional burden which a van theft can bring.

“On average tool-theft costs tradespeople £5,584 and a massive £5982 in missed jobs. We always encourage drivers to use traditional security deterrents such as crook locks and wheel clamps to deter criminals and protect their vehicles.

“Smart doorbells or a CCTV system at work or home are also increasingly popular amongst those keen to guard against unwanted visitors.

“However, in the event of a theft, stolen vehicle tracking technology will significantly help police quickly close the net on thieves and return the vehicle and its’ contents to its rightful owner.”

Tracker’s stolen vehicle recovery rate is more than 95%, with 80% of those stolen vehicles recovered within 24 hours, thanks to its nationwide partnership with the UK’s police.

Tracker’s solutions work like an electronic homing device. A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t know it’s there.

VHF technology also makes its units resistant to GPS/GSM jamming.

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