While your motor fleet business should always have controls in place to ensure company vehicles aren’t stolen, a significant rise in keyless van thefts—specifically the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter—emphasises the need for organisations in the transport sector to bolster their existing prevention efforts.
Recent research revealed that the Sprinter was one of the most commonly stolen light commercial vehicles (LCVs) this past year. What’s more, nearly 90 per cent of stolen LCVs were taken without the owners’ keys. Indeed, keyless van thefts have become a serious epidemic in the transport industry. By removing the ignition from the vehicle and using a laptop computer to extract the last used code from the ignition, thieves are then able to program a new key to the vehicle and drive away using their own ignition barrel.
Don’t let your fleet suffer in the hands of the keyless van theft crisis. Consider the following industry expert guidance to keep your LCVs secure and deter potential thieves:
- Use an ignition shield—An ignition shield is a strong metal piece that bolts around a vehicle’s ignition through existing bolt holes behind the dashboard. Adding this form of protection to your fleet will make it increasingly difficult for thieves to remove the ignition and program a new key to any vehicle.
- Implement immobilisers—There are a variety of different immobilisers that you can add to your fleet to limit thieves’ ability to drive away. You can use a pedal box, which encases the accelerator, brake and clutch pedals to prevent vehicles from being moved when the box is locked in place. In addition, you can install digital immobilisers to your fleet that require drivers to input a short code or sequence to unlock and operate the steering wheel. This way, thieves still won’t be able to steal your vehicles, even if they gain access to the ignition.
- Add extra locks and alarms—You can deter thieves from even attempting to steal your vehicles by adding deadlocks to the doors and implementing a more advanced alarm system.
- Install a tracking device—Lastly, you can increase your chance of recovering any stolen vehicles from your fleet by installing tracking devices. With these devices in place, you will be able to detect the whereabouts of missing vehicles and limit fleet replacement costs.
More than anything, you need to protect your fleet with proper cover. For more guidance on industry-specific insurance solutions, contact Willis IRM today.
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