Steals on wheels: Waterford caravan and campervan owners told to up security after gardai report rise in thefts
With staycations now becoming all the rage, campervans and caravans have become more attractive to criminals, so much so Waterford owners are being urged to take extra security with their mobile vehicles following a huge rise in thefts.
Since March of this year, 19 caravans or campervans have been stolen nationally and 43 in all since the start of 2019. Although there have been no cases of thefts in Waterford, there have been numerous cases in neighbouring Tipperary and Cork.
And it is not just the theft of vans gardai are asking people to be vigilant about. More than €30 million worth of goods and equipment has been stolen from mobile holiday homes over the last four years.
In launching the Garda Park Smart appeal, Garda Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Ber Leetch appealed to caravan and campervan owners to take extra security measures.
“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,” Officer 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 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,” Officer Leetch concluded.