Keyless theft is on the increase

The growing number of new vans sold with keyless entry is creating new opportunities for thieves to steal vehicles, according to vehicle recovery specialists Tracker.

Last year, 82% of stolen light commercial vehicles (LCVs) were taken without the owners’ keys –  nearly double the number from 2016 (44%). Unsurprisingly, being the best-selling van for more than half a century, the Ford Transit was also the most stolen van, says Tracker.

Andy Barrs, head of police liaison at Tracker says: “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.”

He points out that the impact of van theft goes beyond just having the inconvenience of being without a vehicle.

As well as the hassle of dealing with insurers to get a vehicle replaced, owners need to consider the financial impact – increase in insurance premiums, cost of replacing tools, not to mention the administration cost of dealing with everything. Brand reputation can be at risk too if a business cannot serve its customers.

Barrs concludes: “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.”

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