As companies tighten up security and fraud becomes more difficult, it is likely that thieves will find other ways to get their hands on equipment, including stealing from vehicles.
Over the past year kit has been stolen by thieves using the following methods:
- Items snatched by pillion passengers on motorcycles. The usual pattern is for motorcyclists to follow the van for some time and wait for the driver to open the doors during a delivery.
- Walking in to premises and taking vehicle keys.
- Opening unlocked doors whilst a vehicle is stationary.
There is also apparently an issue regarding common types of van, which makes them susceptible to theft, which can be used by more sophisticated thieves:
Considering the value of the kit that companies like us carry, this is worth being aware of.
Thieves can access the vehicle’s computer system via a laptop – this is done via the port in the cab of the van which garages use to run the diagnostics.
With the correct software, thieves can programme a new key for the van with relative ease, then just drive the vehicles away.
It would appear that Mercedes and Ford vans are allegedly, particularly vulnerable to this method.
The thieves follow a vehicle to where it parks up, use a signal jammer to block the fob from reaching the vehicle when the driver tries to lock it, then return later on to steal the vehicle.
The key thing is making sure the vehicle is actually locked – when remote locking systems are used, the vehicle responds with a flash of the lights and / or a little chirrup from the horn.
If a signal jammer is in use, the vehicle won’t respond.
We’ve already seen raids on vehicles from thieves on mopeds, so we know they’re roaming round city centres looking for our vehicles.
It is therefore, worth making sure that crews understand that there is a risk of this happening, to ensure they check that vehicles really are properly locked.
Defences against theft from vehicles include:
- The fitting of deadlocks and slam locks on vans.
- Using unmarked vans
- Fitting rearward facing CCTV.
- Vehicle tracking so the Police will know the exact position of a vehicle if it gets stolen.
- Driver vigilance