Thefts of commercial vehicles have risen sharply since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, according to Radius Telematics.
The firm said with many offices, factories and construction sites closed thieves were taking advantage of unattended locations. It added vehicles and plant not equipped with security devices to detect and track unauthorised movement were especially vulnerable as the thefts could go unreported for many days or even weeks.
Radius says it supplies many of its customers with Theft Recovery Trackers (wireless devices with movement and tamper alarms) for their vehicles. Once activated the vehicle is automatically tracked to make it more likely that stolen assets can be recovered quickly.
“From security tracker alerts we have seen a doubling in plant and van theft since the lockdown began,” said Greville Coe, managing director of Radius Telematics.
“It’s incredible that when we are all self-isolating and worrying about a deadly virus, crime is being committed while people and organisations are so vulnerable.”
Coe highlighted one incident where a van was stolen from a hospice for the terminally ill in Coventry on the 29th of March. The Ford Transit was fitted with a Sure-Track tracker donated by Radius Telematics, however, which allowed the Radius nationwide finder network to track the movements and whereabouts of the stolen vehicle and return it to the hospice within three days.