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Gardai appeal to campervan and caravan owners to park smart

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Gardaí are appealing to caravan and campervan owners to take extra security measures following a cluster of recent thefts. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Gardaí are appealing to caravan and campervan owners to take extra security measures following a cluster of recent thefts. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

PA

Gardaí are appealing to caravan and campervan owners to take extra security measures following a cluster of recent thefts. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

As part of the Garda Park Smart appeal, Gardaí are appealing to caravan and campervan owners to take extra security measures following a cluster of recent thefts. This comes as a result of 13 caravans being stolen since March, 2020, with a major theft taking place recently from Slane, Co Meath.

'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,' says Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Ber Leetch. 'As a campervan owner myself, I always make sure we have the hitch lock on when we are parked up for the evening or when it's not in use. We have also invested in a tracking device, they can be purchased for around €150, so if our campervan was ever stolen there is a better chance of getting it back'.

He said a caravan or campervan can be a very expensive, and the items you have inside them could be irreplaceable if they hold a sentimental value.

'I would recommend that you keep valuables out of sight and make sure everything is locked when you go out. Criminals are opportunistic so whilst you may think that its fine whilst you pop out for half an hour, you never know,' he added. '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.'

As part of the Park Smart campaign, Gardaí have previously highlighted that over €30 million worth of items has been stolen from vehicles in the last four years. Caravans and campervans are no different and should be keep secure with no valuables left inside, if possible.

Since 2019 there has been 43 theft of caravans and campervans. The most recent incident occurred on in July where a caravan worth around €4,000 was stolen from a yard. The owner had no record of any serial number or chassis number or image of the caravan, which can make it very hard for An Garda Síochána to recover. Thankfully in this instance, Gardaí were able to recover the caravan which has since been returned to the owner.

Crime prevention advice

Ensure a good quality hitch lock and wheel clamps are in place and that the caravan is locked to a secure point

Get an alarm fitted if one is not already in place

Keep valuables out of sight and remove when not in use

Ensure windows and doors are locked

For further crime prevention advice, please see https://www.garda.ie/en/Crime-Prevention/

Drogheda Independent