WHETHER you are a sole-trader or you manage a nationwide fleet of vehicles, whether you use your vehicle to work out of and leave your tools in the van overnight or you are a courier company using a fleet of vehicles for deliveries, the contents of your vehicle(s) will need protection against theft as ever-sophisticated criminals employ the latest attack methods to gain entry and steal valuable contents from tradesmen and couriers.
Worryingly, a van is broken into every 23 minutes in the UK – catapulting the rate of tool theft up by over 30% compared to last year. Police figures further estimate that this figure has rocketed by nearly two thirds in two years.
Tradespeople across the country are losing out on thousands of pounds and their livelihoods, as sophisticated thieves target vans for the expensive tools inside.
You only have to analyse insurance claims data to spot a number of worrying trends – from an overall increase in the number of thefts in the last few years, to a rise in the average value of the tools being stolen. In another blow to tradespeople, it seems thieves have wised up to the value of various tools and are actively targeting those that are worth more money. £2,881 is the average value of tools left in UK tradespeople’s’ vans. It points to a worrying trend that shows tool theft thieves aren’t just opportunistic, but organised, too.
And it’s not just the opportunist thief ruining the livelihoods of hard-working tradespeople. This crime is harming sole-traders and major fleet operators right across the country, with major cities in the north, midlands, and south appearing in the 10 most-targeted areas.
Last year, we began to see a rise in the ‘peel and steal’ tool theft technique – applying pressure to the side or read load-area van door with both knees, before ‘peeling’ the door down from the top and gaining access to the contents inside the vehicle.
Organised criminal gangs are now using electronic key fobs to illegally gain access to vehicles without leaving any sign of a forced entry. It makes the criminals harder to catch, insurance claims longer and more difficult to prove.
Often referred to as the ‘relay’ method, it involves two criminals working in close proximity to the vehicle and the vehicles key, one will intercept the signal from the vehicles key fob, while the other uses a replica fob to replicate the signal and open the van door using the replica fob.
It points to a worrying trend that shows tool thieves aren’t just opportunistic, but organised, too.
Locks 4 Vans is committed to securing vehicles and protecting their contents, so let us update you on the latest attack methods and advise you on the most secure and cost-effective solutions for your vehicles.