Rise in keyless van theft highlights need for SMEs to protect their assets

apprentice police

According to the latest figures 89% of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) stolen and recovered in 2018 were taken without the owner’s keys.

This is up from 82% the previous year, as van theft and its financial consequences continue to plague businesses. Once again, the Ford Transit was 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,” explains 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.

Crucially, businesses can’t afford to lose a vehicle, not to mention the loss of tools and equipment or goods for delivery or resale, stored inside the van. The impact of van theft could also result in lost work and in turn, loss of reputation if work can’t be carried out.  What’s more the time and stress of replacing vehicles and tools, as well as dealing with an insurance claim and subsequent rising premiums, adds to the burden businesses face.

Wain concludes, “SMEs need to think about protecting their vans because that ultimately protects their bottom line. 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’s Van Security Tips

  • Lock and key: use 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.
  • Reinforce doors: Stop thieves prising open sliding doors by adding an extra lock at the top or reinforcing the top of the doors.
  • Alarms: add extra alarms to vans and use immobilisers to stop thieves, even if they do manage to break in.
  • Store tools securely: make sure tools are removed from vans overnight and lock them in a secure storage box in a garage or building.
  • Track it: Install a tracking device to help police recover a stolen van and close the net on thieves.