GARDAÍ ARE WARNING caravan and campervan owners to be vigilant following a recent spate of thefts.
A total of 43 caravans and campervans were stolen between 1 January 2019 and 10 July 2020, with 13 caravans being stolen since March of this year.
The most recent incident occurred this month where a caravan worth around €4,000 was stolen from a yard. The owner had no record of any serial number, chassis number or image of the caravan, which gardaí said can make it very hard for them to recover.
However, in this instance, gardaí managed to recover the caravan which has since been returned to the owner.
The value of some caravans and campervans that have been stolen ranges in value from €1,000 to €30,000.
“With staycations expected to rise this year, and more people using caravans and campervans, there is a need to be extra vigilant with their security,” Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Ber Leetch said.
“As a campervan owner myself, I always make sure we have the hitch lock on when we are parked up for the evening or when it’s not in use. We have also invested in a tracking device. They can be purchase for around €150, so if our campervan was ever stolen there is a better chance of getting it back,” Leetch said.
He added that the items inside caravans and campervans could be “irreplaceable if they hold a sentimental value”.
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“I would recommend that you keep valuables out of sight and make sure everything is locked when you go out,” Leetch said.
Criminals are opportunistic, so whilst you may think that its fine whilst you pop out for a half an hour, you never know. Don’t give them the opportunity by not securing it.
“Please make sure you park smart and lock up your caravan or campervan no matter where you are. If something is stolen from you, no matter what it is, call gardaí immediately.”
Gardaí have issued the following advice to caravan and campervan owners:
- Ensure a good quality hitch lock and wheel clamps are in place and that the caravan is locked to a secure point
- Get an alarm fitted if one is not already in place
- Keep valuables out of sight and remove when not in use
- Ensure windows and doors are locked
- Park in a well-lit area. Keep a light on if leaving unattended overnight
- Use a cover when not in use. This may deter thieves as pulling off a cover can be noisy and add to the time taken to steal the caravan
- Keep good records of all serial numbers, unique markings, image of the caravan/campervan etc. Keep documents secure
- Consider voluntarily registering your caravan with the Central Registration and Identification Scheme