Figures from the British Crime Survey estimate that there were 1,560,000 thefts from vehicles, one every 20 seconds, and 707,000 attempted vehicle break-ins during 2001/2002. Autosafe, a company which manufactures an in-vehicle security safe for laptops, says many of the break-ins involve theft of computer equipment.
A spokesman said: 'Thieves target certain vehicles because of the high chance of them containing a laptop computer.'
Some companies are demanding staff take computer equipment with them instead of locking it in the vehicle's boot, but this leaves employees vulnerable to thieves on the street.
Autosafe is offering fleets a lockable steel safe installed on the inside of a hatchback or car boot, which it claims can foil the thieves.