ARMD reveals how thieves are breaking into trade vehicles 

ARMD reveals how thieves are breaking into trade vehicles 

Traditional van alarms may not be up to the job, finds the vehicle and tool security expert

UK businesses reported £3.5 billion worth of stolen equipment last year and more than a third of van drivers fell victim to thefts, according to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The manufacturer found that almost fifty per cent of van drivers keep more than £2,150 worth of tools in their vans overnight. This means that UK tradespeople are risking up to £5 billion in lost equipment. With tool theft still at these 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 passer-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 it’s built in GPS tracks it.”

To show the scale of the problem, ARMD takes a look at how thieves are gaining entry to commercial vehicles and their precious contents:  

  1. Peel ’n’ steal: Using sheer brute-force, thieves physically peel back the side doors of 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.
  1. Keyless Entry Hacks: The advent of keyless entry systems was seen as a step forward in vehicle security. But 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.
  1. Tampering with Locks: Another common method is the manipulation or breaking of the van’s locks. Thieves may use various tools to pick locks or many resort to drilling them out. 
  1. Breaking Windows: Thieves may also simply break the van’s 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 won’t be disturbed.
  1. 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 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 so is easy to install and 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 does get stolen it can help the owner locate and recover the vehicle. 

For more information about ARMD click here

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