Nearly nine-in-ten LCVs stolen in 2018 and recovered by security firm Tracker were taken without using the keys, the company has said.

Its data shows that 89% of thefts were keyless, up from 82% the previous year.

The firm’s head of police liaison Clive Wain said: ““In 2018, our analysis shows that nearly half a million pounds worth of vans were stolen and recovered by Tracker.

“Keyless entry technology is becoming the norm in the LCV market, but thieves are constantly finding new ways to exploit weaknesses in modern security systems, which is leading to a rise in van thefts.”

“SMEs need to think about protecting their vans because that ultimately protects their bottom line. Don’t just rely on the security technology that comes as standard with a new van, take additional steps to deter criminals from stealing your livelihood. “

Aside from installing tracking products, Tracker also recommends vans are fitted with additional deadlocks and steel-clad locks, said to be more secure than standard locks, and says slam locks which secure a door every time it is closed are ideal for quick stops.

It also recommends reinforcing the top of sliding doors to stop thieves pryng them open, adding extra alarms and immobilisers, and storing tools securely – removing them from vans overnight and locking them in a secure storage box in a building or garage.