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Police warn of Transit van break ins

  • Spate of Transit van break ins
  • Often no sign of forced entry
  • Additional security is recommended 

Transit van drivers are being warned by Police to be extra vigilant after a number of reported break-ins where thieves have gained entry to the vehicle without any sign of forced entry.

It’s thought that the break-ins have been carried out using a lock-picking device which is capable of bypassing the lock system without causing any damage to the vehicle.

There's no restriction on the sale of locksmith equipment in the UK, meaning such devices are available on the open marketplace.

It’s worth pointing out that Transit vans are not the only commercial vehicle at risk. No van is 100% secure when faced with a suitable lock pick device, however the sheer volume of Transits out on the road means the number of reported break-ins will consequently be higher.

What does Ford say?

‘Specifically on ‘lock picks’ being used by thieves, this is an industry issue that Ford and all other manufacturers, and including the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), have been working to address for some time,’ according to Simon Hurr, a Ford security specialist.

The issue is exacerbated by a lack of legislation, enabling anybody (not just licensed locksmiths) to purchase these locksmith tools over the internet and other specific hardware outlets.

Ford has taken a proactive approach to advance its lock barrel design and have developed an aftermarket solution to help prevent thefts of vehicles accessible with these ‘lock picks.’ Ford has launched its Vehicle Security Programme which has taken the initiative to deter vehicle thefts.

‘Ford takes vehicle security very seriously and we heavily invest in security solutions that are built into our vehicles to deter theft.’

What can I do to protect my van?

All van owners are advised to ‘fit an alarm and boost security by installing additional Slamlocks or deadlocks independently of the manufacturers,’ in recommendations from South Yorkshire Police Crime Reduction Officer Dene Tinker. Loading Door Keepers and Loom Guards are also advisable to prevent thieves gaining entry by door peeling and wire cutting respectively. 

Tinker adds that it is also a good idea to consider insuring your work tools. This is important because most standard van insurance policies do not cover loss of tools left in a van overnight. In fact, some policies state that you can’t store tools in your van unless it meets certain security requirements. Don’t get caught out, and check.