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Staycation: Gardaí urge campervan owners to 'park smart' as 13 vehicles stolen since March

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Campervan holidays could be popular this summer. PA Photo/iStock.

Campervan holidays could be popular this summer. PA Photo/iStock.

PA

Campervan holidays could be popular this summer. PA Photo/iStock.

Gardaí have issued an appeal for campervan and caravan owners to “park smart” as a total of 13 vehicles have been stolen since March.

The Garda Crime Prevention Unit is asking owners to take a series of steps to ensure their vehicles are safe - including fitting an alarm, hitch or a wheel lock, a tracking device and ensuring windows and doors are locked.

Motorists are also encouraged to park in a well lit area, covering the camper van when not in use, keeping personal belongings out of sight and keeping a record of documents and serial numbers.

This warning comes as the government is encouraging people to avoid foreign travel unless essential and to take their vacations in Ireland.

"With ‘staycations’ expected to rise this year, and more people using caravans and campervans, there is a need to be extra vigilant with their security,” said Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Ber Leetch.

He appealed to the public to lock up their caravans “no matter” where it is parked.

“Criminals are opportunistic so whilst you may think that its fine whilst you pop out for half an hour, you never know. Don’t give them the opportunity by not securing it. Please make sure you park smart and lock up your caravan or campervan no matter where you are. If something is stolen from you, not matter what it is, call the Gardaí immediately,” he added.

Since 2016, Gardaí have previously highlighted that over €30 million worth of items has been stolen from vehicles.

Since last year, there have been thefts of 43 caravans and campervans.

The value of some of the caravans and campervans that have been stolen ranges in value from €1,000 to €30,000.

Most recently, a caravan was stolen from a yard in July, worth €4,000.

According to gardaí, the owner had no record of any serial number or chassis number or image of the caravan, which can make it very hard for it to be recovered but the caravan was tracked down and returned to the owner.

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