Caravan Theft Hotspot

Vans seem to be increasingly in risk of theft
Vans seem to be increasingly in risk of theft

Friday, 24, Jan 2020 02:28

By William Coleman

It seems as though there is quite an issue with caravan theft in Wiltshire as of late. Over the past few years over 70 caravans have been stolen leaving lots of families devastated and without a holiday home.

By now caravan, campervan and motorhome owners are all too aware of the dangers that are presented by having these leisure vehicles, especially if they are stored at home. They are seen as easy targets by thieves and vandals alike. Despite best efforts caravan thieves will find a way to relieve you of your touring property, especially if you are in Wiltshire.

The Swindon Advertiser obtained some startling numbers from the Wiltshire Police records, which was actually carried out by a company called Towergate, using the Freedom of Information Act rules of course, that revealed that there have been 73 reported stolen caravans and motorhomes. These numbers were recorded from incidents that were reported from 2015-2018.

Despite the high number for the area it pales in comparison to what had been reported to the West Mercia police. A whopping 220 calls were made to report the theft of leisure vehicles. Now compare the Mercia and Wiltshire numbers to Dorset, only 12 over a 3 year period, and it would seem thieves certainly have their preferred locations.

Speaking with The Swindon Advertiser, Larissa Knopp of Towergate Caravan Insurance who requested the data from police said, "Hopefully, these figures will encourage owners of caravans to take the right precautions when storing their vehicles, especially in the summer months when thefts are most prevalent, and ensure they are covered if anything like this does happen to them."

So what can be done to keep things safe and secure or even deter the would be robbers? There are a ton of techniques and products you can employ to keep your touring vehicle safe, but as protection tech gets smart the thieves do too.

Only this week one of my neighbours had his brand new tow car stolen off his drive, which is covered by home security cameras as well as motion sensor spotlights. The thief came up with an electronic key reader, programmed his blank and then unlocked the 4x4 and away he went without even making a sound.

Police have advised owners with these new "smart keys" to have their keys stored in a box that blocks the signal but thieves have developed a way round that too. So if tech is getting smarter what can you do? I would say the old ways are still the best.

Locks And Padlock

With home security and doorbell cameras becoming the norm it seems thieves are only really interested in capers that are quick and easy. This is where a nice big thick locking gadget comes in handy.

Not only does manually removing a padlock without a key take a long time it also generates a considerable amount of noise and fuss. This is not something these little urchins want as it gives you time to call the police and have them caught red handed.

If you have a motorhome with an electric key you can a put a lock on the steering wheel in the cab as well as wheel locks on. Double the locks, double the effort to remove them.

Out Of Sight Out Of Mind

Like most things in life, if it can't be seen it can't be an issue. There are many ways in which you can hide your caravan or motorhome. Sometimes the most effective way is to hide in plain sight. A cover can sometimes be the best thing to hide your home. A lot of people seem to think that if someone can see something covered up it makes them more curious, I disagree entirely.

If you see something that looks like a caravan covered by something that is also the same shape as a caravan it's more than likely going to be exactly that, a caravan. People will pass by and just see a caravan shape covered up. If someone wants to take one I don't think they want to fuss of taking the cover off to reveal a home that has sat there under a cover for 10 years and is worth less the shirt on their back.

If you have access to your back garden or a good size garage that is the ideal hiding space. Always remember that if you have a cover a thief will not want to take too much time removing the cover or steal something that they cannot do anything with. Plus the cost of a cover far outweighs the cost of not having one.

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