Keyless van thefts are on the increase with vehicle security company Tracker suggesting that 82% of models recovered last year were stolen without the owner’s keys – up by nearly 100% compared to 2016 (44%).
The Ford Transit was again the most popular van stolen last year and accounted for more than half of the LCV recoveries made by Tracker.
“Keyless entry technology has now been widely adopted in the LCV market, and this is evident in the fact that last year there was a two-fold increase in LCVs being stolen without the owner’s keys,” said Andy Barrs, head of police liaison at Tracker.
“The relatively new trend in vehicle theft termed ‘relay attack’, that allows criminals to harness more sophisticated theft techniques to overcome existing vehicle security technology, such as immobilisers and keyless entry systems, has played a significant part in this increase.”
The impact of van theft went beyond just having the inconvenience of being without a vehicle, according to Tracker.
As well as the hassle of dealing with insurers to get a vehicle replaced, owners needed to consider the financial impact – increase in insurance premiums, cost of replacing tools and the administration cost of dealing with everything. Brand reputation and productivity could also be at risk if a business could not serve its customers.
Mr Barrs said: “It’s not just about protecting a van from being stolen but safeguarding a business too. Technology is just one part of vehicle security and more vigilance needs to be taken across the board; this includes van owners, manufacturers, dealers, insurers and the police. Whilst a tracking device won’t stop a van being stolen, it can significantly increase the chances of the police locating and returning it to its rightful owner.”