ARMD reveals how thieves are breaking into trade vehicles

ARMD reveals how thieves are breaking into trade vehicles

UK businesses reported £3.5 billion worth of stolen equipment last year as more than a third of van drivers fell victim to thefts, according to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The manufacturer found that almost 50% of van drivers keep approximately £2,150 worth of tools in their vans overnight, resulting in UK tradespeople risking up to £5 billion in lost equipment. With tool theft still at record-breaking levels, ARMD, the anti-tool theft specialist, believes traditional van alarms may not be up to the job of keeping vehicles and the tools inside them safe.

“The methods used by thieves to gain access to vans have evolved over time, becoming more sophisticated and challenging to prevent. Understanding these methods is crucial for tradespeople to safeguard their tools and livelihood,” explains Steve Holland, co-founder of ARMD.

Given these varied and sophisticated methods of theft, it’s clear why traditional van alarms might not be sufficient. Vehicle alarm sirens are largely ignored by both passers-by and the thieves themselves. They are also usually only triggered if the thief breaks into the cab when the vast majority of the time the tools are in the back of the van.

”In contrast, a system like ARMD Guard offers a more comprehensive solution. It employs advanced technology to detect unusual activities or movements in the back of the van, potentially alerting the owner before the theft occurs. If they manage to unplug the device it triggers a phone call to the owner and if they try and take the whole van its built-in GPS tracks it.”

To demonstrate the scale of the problem, ARMD assesses how thieves gain entry to commercial vehicles and their precious contents:

  1. Peel ’n’ steal: Using sheer brute force, thieves physically peel back the side doors of the van. This technique involves applying force to the door or window to bend or break it open. It’s a quick method that can also be surprisingly quiet, making it less likely to attract attention.
  2. Keyless entry hacks: The advent of keyless entry systems was seen as a step forward in vehicle security. However, thieves have found ways to exploit these systems using electronic devices. These devices can intercept the signal from the key fob and replicate it to unlock the van without any physical key. This method is particularly concerning because it leaves no signs of forced entry, making it difficult for victims to prove the theft to insurance companies.
  3. Tampering with locks: Another common method is manipulating or breaking locks. Thieves may use various tools to pick locks or resort to drilling them out.
  4. Breaking windows: Thieves may also break the windows to gain access. This method is noisy and conspicuous, so it’s often used as a last resort or in areas where the thief feels confident they will not be disturbed.
  5. Cutting through the van: In some cases, especially with high-value targets, thieves might cut through the van’s body to access the cargo area. This method requires tools like saws or angle grinders.

The ARMD GUARD Smart Van Alarm goes further than traditional van alarms. It’s a plug-and-play sensor making for easy installation. In the event of a break-in, the alarm immediately notifies the owner via a phone call, allowing them to take immediate action by contacting the police. Additionally, it incorporates GPS tracking, so if the van is stolen it can help the owner locate and recover the vehicle.

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