The emergence of more sophisticated criminals may be rendering many conventional trackers ineffective, with the caravan and motorhome industry particularly vulnerable, according to telematics expert In-car Cleverness.
The increasing prevalence of advanced equipment, including scanners able to detect traditional tracking units, has meant some criminals can easily remove traditional trackers and clone the vehicle’s identity, making stolen vehicles nearly untraceable.
As a result, caravan and motorhome retail and rental businesses – which often use conventional trackers to safeguard their vehicles from theft – may emerge as the latest targets for sophisticated vehicle thieves.
With more thieves equipped with the ability to remove conventional trackers, caravans and motorhomes stolen during the winter and spring may not even be discovered until the holidaying season restarts in the spring.
Highlighting the issue, the recent theft of two luxury motorhomes, worth a total of £120,000, from a hire firm in the North West of England has shone a light on the risk of relying on vulnerable tracking devices.
However, In-Car Cleverness, alongside sister company, anti-theft experts APU, managed to secure the recovery of one of the motorhomes just days later. Both firms are owned by accident aftercare specialist, Accident Exchange.
While the recovered vehicle was fitted with a covert piece of technology, the missing motorhome only had a conventional tracker which was quickly detected by a scanner and removed by the burglars. The bespoke technology, developed and owned by APU is only available through the Accident Exchange Group of companies.
The owner of a motorhome dealership whose business has been established for over 40 years, said: “Criminals target this market because it is heavily based in rural areas with a lower police presence, while caravan and motorhomes remain difficult for police to identify when cloned – theft in the industry may represent the perfect crime.”
The covert device fitted to the recovered motorhome went undetected by the thieves and tracked the luxury motorhome to a commercial premises in Blackburn. The police were called and subsequently arrested three men. The data on the covert device and CCTV footage from the crime scene have been made available to police and the case against the men continues.
Paul O’Dowd, Head of Sales at In-Car Cleverness, commented: “Many caravan and motorhome retail and hire companies aren’t necessarily aware of the risks posed by modern, sophisticated criminals – thinking their conventional trackers are a full-proof solution.
“It’s simply not the case, and instances like this recent robbery may have been a lot more damaging had our technology not been fitted onto the recovered motorhome. Businesses and private owners need to make sure they are taking a comprehensive approach to the security of their prized assets.”
Other methods useful when securing your vehicle include Smartwater, Alpha Dot and Selecta DNA, all of which mark the car, motorcycle or motorhome with a unique, coded chemical. Selecta DNA also make a grease which can be applied to things like pipework and electrical components, so they can be traced if a vehicle is broken up for spares.