Tool theft has increased by 54% in just two years, with van owners being the most common victims.
A third of tradespeople have had their tools stolen, and two-thirds know someone who has. This is hardly surprising when a van is broken into every 23 minutes in the UK.
The last thing you want to think about is your van being broken into and losing that collection of tools and equipment that is essential for you to do your job.
Unfortunately, advances in technology are making it easier for thieves. For example, key-fob hacking allows criminals to intercept and replicate the radio signal sent from your fob to your locks, so these days lots of tool theft incidents don’t even involve a forced break-in.
Having something stolen from you is not only unsettling, but it can mean days or even weeks of lost work and costly replacements – that’s why we’ve put together our top tips for keeping your van secure and your tools safe.
Think about your parking
It may sound obvious, but where you park during your day’s work or throughout the night can make all the difference to the safety of your vehicle and its contents.
Parking with sliding or rear doors against a wall will help keep your van safe from the ‘peel and steal’ or ‘peek and seek’ method. This involves thieves grabbing the top of the van’s back or side doors with their fingers, applying pressure with their knees and using their body weight to, literally, pull them down.
Where possible, you should always make sure to park in a busy, well-lit area in view of CCTV cameras.
Remove the Incentive
Thieves looking to steal tools are less likely to break into your van if it’s obvious there’s nothing of value in there to take.
If you’re able to remove your tools to a secure location each night, it’s a good habit to get in to and if you can do that, then the good old fashioned “no tools are stored in this van overnight” sticker can put off would be thieves from bothering with your vehicle at all.
Invest in additional security
Removing tools from your van overnight is just not possible for many, and is definitely a daily hassle, so a secure storage system will make it much harder for thieves to gain access to your tools when it is not possible for you to bring them inside. Armogard Tuffbank provides a range of heavy-duty and secure boxes.
Van racking is also a good option for keeping your tools secure and there is lots of choice on the market.
Fit your van with an alarm
If your van isn’t fitted with one already, it’s crucial to invest in a decent alarm system to prevent theft and damage to your tools and van. Even if you already have locks fitted, thieves can still cause a lot of damage to doors and windows trying to break in.
An audible security device will help to deter criminals from the initial attack, preventing further damage. Don’t forget, with advanced lock picking and key cloning methods constantly evolving, van drivers need more sophisticated means of safeguarding their vehicles and tools. VanMate is a very popular aftermarket audible security device which emits a piercing 125db alarm when any movement is detected within your van.
Consider a steering lock
Sometimes it’s not enough for thieves to get away with just the tools. Fitting a steering lock whenever you leave your van will help to prevent them from getting away with the vehicle as well as its contents.
Below are the top-rated steering wheel locks on Amazon.
Unfortunately, tool and van theft is a growing concern in the UK, but we hope our top tips will help you to protect what’s yours.
A determined thief will gain entry to almost any van, often using crude and destructive methods, so always make sure your insurance is up to date and issued by a reputable broker. Check out our website for the cheapest van insurance quotes from our high quality panel of insurers, backed by our price guarantee.