Van owners warned about latest ‘peel and steal’ craze

If you own a commercial van, you will be only too aware of the struggles of vehicle safety; for example, you may be scared to advertise your business on the side of your van in case it attracts unwanted attention. It seems that thieves are still preying on helpless tradesmen and won’t stop at anything until they get what they want. The latest craze is what is known as the ‘peel and steal’ whereby thieves are opening vans with brute force to get to the equipment inside.

What is the ‘peel and steal’ method and when did it start?

The police have seen an increase in the number of ‘peel and steal’ incidents since last year and it is estimated that five crimes of its type are happening every day across the country. What does it involve? Thieves have been spotted on CCTV grabbing the rear doors of vans and peeling them down using their own bodyweight; meanwhile, police are struggling to convict the offenders due to a lack of evidence.

How can professionals avoid being targeted?

Regardless of whether you store your tools in your van, the last thing you want is to have to put your hand in your pocket to pay for damage repairs – let alone replacing your commercial tools. There are ways in which you can avoid being targeted; for instance, make sure that your vehicle and its contents are insured and check that your excess is affordable. Not displaying the nature of your trade on the van’s bodywork can make you less of a target, as thieves will not assume that you are carrying tools specific to the trade.

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Finally, one of the best ways of protecting your vehicle is by researching suitable locks for a van, as a robust locking system could stop thieves accessing your belongings or deter them altogether. Installation services such as feature a wide range of locks, including deadlocks, to help keep your vehicle secure.

A final word from the manufacturers

Van manufacturers are constantly learning about new threats to the safety of their vehicles and work hard to find solutions. Mercedes-Benz, for instance, takes the new vulnerabilities very seriously and confirms that it is working with the authorities and dealers to review and improve the safety of its vehicles.