On the night of 9th May 2020, thieves broke into a secure seasonal caravan site in Oxford and stole four caravans, including a £20,000 Sterling Caravan. Unbeknown to the thieves, the Sterling was fitted with a stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) device from Tracker, which the police employed to quickly locate and recover the valuable vehicle. Two suspects were arrested at the scene, where police also recovered two additional stolen trailers.
The owners of the four-year-old Sterling caravan had recently moved the caravan to a new site which was surrounded by six-foot-deep hedges as well as a parameter fence. Although the owners believed the site to be fully secure, they prudently fitted their caravan with a diamond wheel lock, a hitch lock and an alarm for extra security. However, the experienced thieves cut through and disarmed each of these security measures, believing they had outwitted the owners. Little did they know that the caravan had also been fitted with a tracking device.
The owners said: “We never thought our caravan would be stolen from a secure seasonal site. However, it is clear that these were professional criminals and knew exactly what they were doing, or at least thought they did. Had it not been for the Tracker unit, we wouldn’t have got our ‘van back. Of course, like many owners we have personal items stored in our caravan that we just could not replace. We are so relieved and thankful that the police, together with Tracker, were able to recover our ‘van, especially as we have been stuck at home during lockdown and unable to check up on it. We can’t wait to visit the site as soon as the government says we can – which of course we wouldn’t be doing if the van had not been recovered.”
Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison for Tracker, commented: “Tracker was made aware of the theft by the police and we contacted the owners. As a result, the tracker unit was activated and the caravan was then very quickly recovered by the Police in South Wales, assisted by the National Police Air Service (NPAS).
“Housing a caravan or motorhome in a secure site, and using additional security measures like these owners did, is often enough to deter criminals. However, these were experienced, professional criminals who were adept at quickly cutting through physical barriers and security devices and disabling sophisticated alarm systems. A tracking device provides the best chance of a vehicle being located and returned to its rightful owner before the criminals have a chance to sell it on.”
Tracker is the only company supported by every UK police force, with Tracker detection equipment fitted in police vehicles and helicopters. The stolen vehicle recovery system consists of a covert transmitter which is professionally installed, hidden in one of several dozen possible locations around the vehicle. As it has no visible aerial, the thief won’t even know it’s there until the police arrive to recover the vehicle and make an arrest. Unlike other devices, Tracker’s unique and market-leading technology is resistant to jamming and can locate stolen vehicles anywhere, even when they are hidden in a garage or shipping container, stored underground or have been shipped overseas.
Tracker’s Caravan and Motorhome Security Tips
For immediate peace of mind:
Fit security posts or a substantial locked gate if parking the caravan on your drive.
Security mark the caravan if it is not already done.
Mark valuables and interior fitments inside the caravan with your postcode using an etching tool or engraver.
Fit Sold Secure approved physical deterrents such as hitch locks, wheel clamps, motorhome steering wheel locks and deadlocks on doors to make it difficult for thieves.
Remove all valuables from the caravan and keep keys out of sight and away from your leisure vehicle at home.
Do not leave registration documents in the caravan as they can help thieves sell it on.
Always close and lock doors and windows when you leave your caravan, even if it’s just for a short time.
If storing away from home, choose a site with good security rather than just a good price.
Check insurance is up to date and provides comprehensive cover.
Fit a Tracker device to increase the chance of recovery in the event of theft or make sure subscriptions are active if a tracking device is already fitted. This will also attract a healthy discount on your caravan or motorhome insurance with Caravan Guard.
Reminders for post-lockdown:
Consider fitting a timer switch if you’re out after dark, as lights on will make it look occupied and deter opportunist thieves.
At a time when many are valuing their neighbours and community, get to know your neighbours on the campsite and look out for each other’s vehicles.
Don’t be afraid to report suspicious activity.