As the rise in UK caravan thefts continues unabated, motorhome and caravan owners are being urged to be on high alert by Tracker. The warning comes as the company successfully recovered a Bailey Autograph motorhome worth approximately £40,000. The vehicle, which had been stolen from right outside its owner’s home in Devon, was quickly reported to Devon and Cornwall Police and tracked to Birmingham, 22 hours and 200 miles later, by West Midlands Police and Tracker.
The owner of the motorhome, explains, “My caravan was locked and secure, with the key safely inside my house, but these single-minded criminals still found a way to steal my motorhome. My wife and I love the ‘van life’ and are often touring the UK, attending festivals. If I hadn’t had a Tracker unit fitted, I really don’t think we would have got our motorhome back and the chance to continue to do what we love doing. I encourage other owners to use safeguard theirs too, after all, it’s not just your vehicle a thief is stealing, but a way of life.”
While leisure vehicles have always been a target for thieves, manufacturing problems in the motorhome sectori means that fewer are on the market. The knock-on effect is that career criminals, normally associated with stealing prestige cars, can make significant gains from selling-on stolen leisure vehicles. Adding to owner woes, this hike in theft has pushed insurance premiums up, with the average caravan insurance premium increasing by 34% since 2021ii.
Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker comments, “Sadly, leisure vehicles are in demand, whether they are young and old. We recover leisure vehicles ranging from £16,000 to £70,000 so we know criminals are targeting both ends of the market. The fact that motorhome was stolen, despite the owner taking sensible security measures, confirms that if a thief wants to steal a vehicle, they will find a way to do it. Having a tracking device fitted will not only increase the chances of your vehicle being quickly located and returned in the event of a theft, but it also demonstrates to an insurer that you are taking the correct steps to protect your leisure vehicle, which can have a positive impact on the cost of your premium.”