Fleet News

Don't fall prey to the van thieves

VAN drivers are leaving the door open to smash and grab thieves by keeping valuable tools and equipment in clear view, according to Autoglass.

The windscreen repair and replacement specialist says thefts from vans could be cut by up to 50% if drivers took the time to perform basic security checks.

And while vehicle stereos remain the most commonly stolen item, thefts of mobile phones, laptops and tools are on the increase because of van drivers' complacency.

Ian Carlisle, managing director of Autoglass, said: 'In the haste to rush to jobs, it's easy to forget the simple things such as locking doors or closing windows. But this only makes life easier for thieves who will take advantage of every opportunity. And with van drivers carrying ever more valuable equipment, such as laptops and mobiles, it makes sense to run through a basic security check.'

1. Never leave tools in your van overnight - night-time thieves see vans as a potential money-spinner. Stickers stating 'no tools left in vehicle overnight' are widely available, cheap and simple but very effective.
2. Park in a well-lit, visible location such as under a street lamp, or a patrolled car park if possible, and in public view and close to other vehicles. Over a third of vehicle crime (31%) takes place in car parks.
3. If detachable, always take the time to remove the front of the radio, cassette or CD player. The one occasion that you decide just to leave it, could be the time a thief strikes.
4. If you don't want to take your mobile phone with you, ensure that it is well hidden either in the boot or glove compartment or under the seat. If you can see it so can a thief and, with mobile thefts soaring, the prospect of smashing a window is no deterrent to the determined criminal.
5. If your van has an open area between the seats and back storage space, make sure it is covered by a sheet or board when leaving the vehicle unattended.
6. If you have a steering lock or alarm, it's worth taking the time to use them or even display a sticker implying that you have an alarm activated.

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