‘Staycation’ warning after caravans and campervans stolen

Tipperary and Meath have seen highest number of vehicles stolen, gardaí say

Over €30 million worth of items have been stolen from caravans over the last four years, according to gardaí

Over €30 million worth of items have been stolen from caravans over the last four years, according to gardaí

 

Gardaí have warned caravan and campervan owners to take extra security measures after 13 caravans were stolen since March.

The most recent theft occurred earlier this month where a caravan worth around €4,000 was stolen from a yard.

More than €30million worth of items have been stolen from caravans over the last four years, according to gardaí. There have been 43 caravans and campervans stolen since January 2019.

Tipperary and Meath have seen the highest number of vehicles stolen over that period (five), followed by Laois/Offaly, Clare and Limerick (four). The value of some of the caravans and campervans stolen ranges between €1,000 and €30,000.

As part of its Park Smart appeal, gardaí are urging the public to keep their vehicles secure with no valuables left inside, if possible.

In the most recent theft, the owner had no record of any serial number or chassis number or image of the caravan. However, gardaí were able to locate the vehicle, and it has been returned to the owner.

Speaking on Wednesday, Crime Prevention Officer Sgt 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,” she said.

“A caravan or campervan can be 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 it’s fine whilst you pop out for half an hour, you never know. . . . If something is stolen from you, not matter what it is, call the Gardaí immediately.”

Gardaí have issued the following advice for caravan/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.