The Ford Transit was the UK’s most stolen van in 2021.
A new report from stolen vehicle recovery specialists, Tracker Network, says the U.K.’s most popular van was also the most targeted by thieves.
The Transit accounted for 64% of all Tracker LCV recoveries. It was followed by the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Peugeot Boxer and Vauxhall Combo.
Perhaps most worrying for fleets is the fact that entry was not gained by force in the majority of these thefts - relay intercept technology from keyless fobs was used to ‘dupe’ the van into unlocking: it’s a method of remotely capturing the radio signal from a vehicle’s key fob and relaying it to an accomplice who uses it to open the vehicle’s door and start the vehicle.
Not only does it leave tradespeople and fleets exposed to vehicle theft but also exposes the contents within the van. At a period when commercial vehicle availability is patchy at best, it could leave fleets with unwanted vehicle downtime for a substantial periods and yield increased costs of replacing expensive equipment.
Clive Wain, head of Police liaison for Tracker, advised: “Whether the victim is a sole trader, small business, or larger fleet operator, the theft of a van will have a financial impact such as the loss of work, cost of replacing tools and equipment, and a likely increase in insurance premiums.
“However, there are security barriers that can be used to deter thieves, such as CCTV, traditional steering wheel locks, and wheel clamps. If the vehicle has a keyless entry system, place the van’s key fob into a signal blocking pouch when not in use. Lined with layers of metallic material, a signal blocking pouch can stop a key's signal from being intercepted by would-be thieves. In the event of a van being stolen, an SVR solution will significantly increase the chances of it being quickly recovered and returned before it’s sold on, stripped for parts or shipped abroad.”
Tracker’s SVR (stolen vehicle recovery) technology works via a hidden transmitter within the vehicle. A combination of VHF with GPS/GSM technology makes the unit resistant to GPS/GSM jamming, and the system is supported nationwide by UK police forces.