Search for van thieves starting to become exhausting

There is a new craze sweeping the UK, from Manchester to Hertfordshire, which won’t half knock your renewal van insurance about if you don’t do something about it.

At the beginning of February, Manchester police were hot on the heels of an ‘audacious’ gang of thieves who were stalking isolated spots in Manchester on the look out for vans that were parked away from the public eye or in far corners of car parks in isolation in order to steal the entire exhaust system. The scrap value for such weight in metal – said to contain platinum – is proving too lucrative for some to resist the temptation to commit crime.

Trafford park was named as one hot spot as three van owners were set to wake up to a headache and a imminent van insurance claim as the gangs relieved the vehicles of their entire exhaust system. Urmston and Flixton were also target areas, as three catalytic converters were taken from three vehicles in two roads in those regions. Details in one recent report suggest that all the thieves had to do was literally flip the bonnets and then help themselves to the precious metals that lay under the hood.

A more recent report suggests similar activities now occurring in the south as Hertfordshire police have created a special taskforce to tackle the problem rife in their county. DCI Liz Hanlon, heading up the Operation Devon outfit has issued warnings for all van drivers to secure their vehicles and report sightings of suspicious activity immediately. Many van drivers, as a matter of course, invest heavily in security measures to deter the opportunist thief not only to prevent theft but also in their drive for cheap van insurance. Insurance firms look kindly upon van drivers who take this aspect seriously as there is less chance of their staff having to handle a claim and them having to compensate anyone who falls victim to the chancers. Here on, we have continued to report the rising numbers of such criminal activity, as members of the UK public look to scrape together money from any angle, irrespective of its legality.

Tool theft still an issue as spate spreads across UK

It has been tool theft from the backs of vans that have been the focus of Met attention up to this point, an aspect now prevalent in Herts., as DCI Liz Hanlon also warned of in her statement. If van drivers are reliant on their tools for their livelihood and have not added tool cover or goods in transit cover to their base van insurance policy, now may be as good a time as any to do so!

Operation Devon has called upon scrap dealers in their region to contact them if they are approached with materials that raise suspicions of illegal activity; they are also working closely with other UK police forces and organisations who use large volumes of precious metal to deliver their services, such as BT & Virgin communications arms and EDF energy, amongst others.

If you are aware of any criminal activity of this nature, Manchester police are urging you to contact Crimestoppers immediately. Your call comes with a guarantee retaining your anonymity, so no need to fear repercussions; the number is: 0800 555 111. Or, you can contact them directly on 0161-856-7684.

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