Thursday 23 November 2017

'The silent theft' - Security expert shows just how easy it is to break into popular van

Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

A security expert has revealed how easy it is to break into a popular van using only a screwdriver.

Dave Robinson, who installs car alarms, claims that he is inundated with calls from tradesmen who have seen their vehicles broken into and tools stolen.

Mr Robinson claimed that in the last week alone he has been called to up to 10 Ford Transit vans in Dublin.

Now he has released this video footage to warn others about the dangers that exist.

“They are calling it the silent theft,” he told Independent.ie. “They come along with a screwdriver and they click the lock twice to open it.

“They are in the back before you know it and they have time to pick and choose the tools that they want because there is no alarm going off.”

Dublin tradesman Padraig Tyrell said his 151 Ford Transit van was broken into outside the B&Q store in Liffey Valley on Monday, May 1.

“It seems to be an epidemic,” he said. “I popped into B&Q in Liffey Valley for 20 minutes and i came back to find the lock on the door had been picked.

“It was a new Ford Transit Custom. It’s scary how quick it can be done.”

Mr Tyrell thinks the thieves used a Ford ‘Tibbe’ pick - a device which can be used to break a lock. “After I was robbed I went online and saw that these can be bought for €35.

He continued: “I had a cordless drill, cordless grinder and cash in the van and this was all taken. I naively thought that because I had a 151 van that it wasn’t easy to break into. It seems to be that the driver’s door lock is easily breached with this tool.”

Mr Robinson said van owners can buy an extra lock for the door, a separate box to store their tools in or they can install an alarm.

“I genuinely believe an alarm is the key to it. These guys are looking for the silent vans so they can break in and get the stuff without causing any fuss

“I know it sounds bad but these guys, if they see that you have an alarm on your van, will just move onto the next one around the corner.”

Mr Robinson said this is not the only way that criminals are breaking into vans. He has shared images which show the aftermath of other break-in attempts.

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A spokesperson for Ford said: "Ford takes vehicle security very seriously and we invest heavily in security solutions that are built into our vehicles to deter theft.  Our team of security engineers and crime prevention specialists routinely monitors and investigates new ways thieves are targeting our vehicles to maintain our high level of deterrence. 

"We are constantly learning more about the latest techniques thieves are using to gain access to vehicles, and whether there are additional enhancements we can make in our vehicles in the face of constant criminal activity to beat them.

"At our UK research and development centre in Essex, vehicle security engineers work with ex-police crime specialists to develop future innovations that cut off the techniques being developed by criminals.  They work undercover with the police and receive information on thefts and how vehicles were lost via insurance data in order to continuously improve our response."

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