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Camper van thefts prompt police security warning

Last modified: 13 January 2021 at 02:38pm

Police are urging motorhome owners to take extra steps to secure their vehicles, after a number of thefts.

Three vehicles have been stolen in the last fortnight from the York and Selby areas – although two have since been recovered.

Camper vans and caravans are increasingly left unoccupied due to COVID-19 restrictions. They may be targeted by thieves as they are often equipped to a high standard, containing expensive equipment and cycles.

Stolen Ford Chausson Flash C626 Between 11.10pm and 11.25pm on Monday 28 December 2020 a Ford Chausson Flash C626 motorhome was stolen from Hambleton, Selby. A police witness appeal generated a very good response from members of the public, and although the vehicle has not yet been located, two men in their 20s from the Doncaster area have been arrested in connection with its theft. They have been released under investigation while enquiries continue. If you have any information about the theft of the motorhome, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting reference 12200246821.

In the evening of Thursday 7 January 2021, a Peugeot Eldis Autoquest motorhome was stolen from Strensall. North Yorkshire Police officers responded immediately, and it was found abandoned a short time later in Holtby. Officers would still like to speak to anyone who may have been in the area at the time who may have witnessed the motorhome – which is white with an orange stripe down the sides – in convoy with other vehicles in and around this area at the time of the offence. Anyone with any information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, or email 001282@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk. Please quote reference number 12210009630 when passing on information.

On Monday 11 January at 1pm a Fiat Auto-Trail motor caravan was reported stolen from Fairburn, Selby. Fortunately it had been fitted with a tracker, which located it in the Doncaster area. Police attended the location and the vehicle was recovered and taken to a secure location for forensic examination. Anyone with information about this incident should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting reference 12210014570.

Sergeant Stuart Grainger, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Unfortunately, it appears thieves are targeting camper vans in our area, so it’s extremely important that if you own one, you double-check your security measures.

“It’s positive that two of the stolen vehicles have since been recovered, showing that criminals will find it difficult to get away unchallenged.

“However, in light of these thefts, I’d urge everyone to remain vigilant, and follow our security advice.”

  • Write your vehicle identification number (VIN) in several hidden places within the camper van. Use a permanent marker to write the VIN on the underside of drawers, in cupboards, and wooden surfaces. Etch the VIN onto the windows using a diamond tipped engraver. This makes the vehicle easy to identify if it’s stolen.
  • Always lock all doors and windows every time you leave your camper van. Check and lock your roof light and gas compartment as well.
  • Never leave personal or valuable items on display inside the camper van or awning. Consider forensic and security marking your personal items.
  • Fix lock nuts or wheel clamps to the wheels.
  • Fit an alarm and switch it on every time you leave your camper van – even if it’s just for a short time. Keep your keys with you at all times.
  • Never leave vehicle registration documents inside the camper van. They can help a thief to sell it.
  • Fit a tracking device. Police will be able to track it if it is stolen.
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