Police would like to remind the public to make sure that motorhomes and caravans are secured following reports of suspicious activity over recent weeks.

Since the middle of July, at least seven incidents have been reported in the Cotswolds, Gloucester and Cheltenham areas.

All of the incidents saw men, who did not have local accents, identify households before knocking on the front door and asking questions about their vehicles such as the age, model and value as well as enquiring into whether it was available for sale. 

The men appeared to specifically focus their attention on motorhomes, caravans and classic cars and left in vehicles such as transit vans or Land Rovers which did not have local number plates.

No vehicles were stolen as part of the reported incidents however police are asking everyone to please keep a look out for their neighbours and report any suspicious behaviour that may be seen by contacting police.

Any information or concerns can be reported here https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/soh/seen-or-heard/ or by calling 101. Please call 999 if the offenders are present at the time.

The most effective way of preventing a motorhome from being stolen is to have an immobiliser and a movement sensitive alarm fitted to the vehicle.  These devices are not expensive when compared to the actual value of the vehicle itself.

Tracking devices are also a very useful addition to prevent theft and aid recovery, don’t forget to advertise these devices are in use by placing warning stickers in the windows and other locations on the vehicle.

Physical and highly visible security devices provide an extra obstacle that thieves have to overcome and include steering, road wheel, gear lever and pedal locking devices which are readily available from many sources. The Master Locksmith Association approved “Sold Secure” physical security devices for all types of vehicles and caravans are tried and tested and details can be found here https://www.soldsecure.com/  there are also Police approved devices listed on the Secured by Design website here

Other crime prevention considerations are:

  • If storing elsewhere, choose a site with good security rather than just a good price.  Remember if you can remove a vehicle without being seen so can a thief.
  • Add CCTV to the area where the vehicle is stored.  The type that notifies you of any activity is best
  • Security bollards and locked gates on the drive or storage area to make access difficult
  • Ground anchors and chains attached to the vehicle
  • Additional and improved vehicle door locks
  • Hitch locks for caravans
  • Keep the vehicle keys in a secure place at home and make sure proximity keys are protected by storing in a RFID pouch
  • Anti-theft identification chip security system
  • Parking your vehicle in a well-lit area
  • Parking your vehicle in a way that makes accessing side and back doors awkward
  • Adding security lighting and CCTV to your property
  • Marking valuable items with forensic property marking liquids such as SelectaDNA or SmartWater

Additional advice on preventing your vehicle from being targeted by criminals is available here: https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/keeping-vehicles-safe/preventing-car-vehicle-theft/