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Caravan and Campervan Owners Urged to Park Smart Following Recent Thefts - July 2020

Gardaí are Appealing to Caravan and Campervan Owners to Park Smart
 
As part of the Garda Park Smart appeal, Gardaí are appealing to caravan and campervan owners to take extra security measures following a cluster of recent thefts. This comes as a result of 13 caravans being stolen since March 2020.
 
Speaking today, Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Ber Leetch said "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. 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 purchased for around €150, so if our campervan was ever stolen there is a better chance of getting it back.
 
"A caravan or campervan can be a very expensive, and the items you have inside them could be irreplaceable if they hold a sentimental value. I would recommend that you keep valuables out of sight and make sure everything is locked when you go out.  Criminals are opportunistic so whilst you may think that its fine whilst you pop out for 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, not matter what it is, call the Gardaí immediately.”
 
As part of the Park Smart campaign, Gardaí have previously highlighted that over €30 million worth of items has been stolen from vehicles in the last four years. Caravans and campervans are no different and should be keep secure with no valuables left inside, if possible.
 
Since 2019 there has been 43 theft of caravans and campervans. The most recent incident occurred on in July where a caravan worth around €4,000 was stolen from a yard. The owner had no record of any serial number or chassis number or image of the caravan, which can make it very hard for An Garda Síochána to recover. Thankfully in this instance, Gardaí were able to recover the caravan which has since been returned to the owner.
 
The value of some of the caravans and campervans that have been stolen ranges in value from €1,000 to €30,000.
 
Crime Prevention Advice:
 
·         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
 
Further crime prevention advice on this, and on other topics is available here
  
Notes: 
  
€30 million of items stolen from vehicles is based from Jan 2016 – Dec 2019 inclusively
 
43 caravans and campervans stolen between 1 January 2019 – 10July 2020
 
Breakdown of caravan/camper thefts:

Meath5
Tipperary5
Laois/Offaly4
Clare4
Limerick4
DMR North3
Wexford3
Donegal2
Kildare2
Cavan/Monaghan2
Cork City2
Galway2
Louth1
Wicklow1
Roscommon/Longford1
Mayo

All figures released are for crime prevention purposes and are subject to change.
 
An infographic is attached below.