Over the last few months we have seen a dramatic rise in the amount of thefts of motor vehicles, in particular vans (Transit vans in particular) being taken in a number of fashions.
One of the biggest recent issues that private vehicle owners/business owners have to contend with, when it comes to vehicle security, is devices that allow access to vehicles without any forced entry. Vehicle thefts often show no signs of visible forced entry (broken glass, drilled locks or alarm being triggered). These thefts are being blamed on alarm immobilisers, jammer devices and a recent addition to the market – the skeleton key.
The immobiliser/jammer is used similarly to the electronic key you use to close you own vehicle but it blocks the signal used to lock your vehicle; someone can just walk up to your vehicle and open it without forcing their way in. Thieves are not just targeting vans and small commercial vehicles but also the high end motors, brands such as BMW and Audi.
However, the most concerning is the skeleton key, which I could purchase myself from Amazon right now for £20. Videos online show this device being used on a Transit van to open it without the original key.
Unfortunately, a lot of the vehicles are not recovered and if they are, there are usually parts missing, the engine has been removed or there are only a couple of pieces left to identify it.
- Never leave your vehicle running, especially whilst it is unattended or unlocked
- Apply a steering wheel lock – even if entry is gained it is impossible to drive the vehicle away
- Do not leave tools in the van overnight – this may be an inconvenience on a daily basis but knowing how easy it is for thieves to gain access, is it worth the inconvenience of losing thousands of pounds worth of tools and equipment?
If you would like any further advice on this subject, please contact your Account Manager today on either 01302 341 344 or 0114 243 9914.
By Tom Spurr – Claims Technician