Burnt Tree are urging drivers to ‘think thief’ after launching a campaign to help cut thefts of and from light commercial vehicles.
The rental company have produced a 12-page e-guide offering advice to drivers within small to medium size companies, in response to the rising theft count.
It is also partnering with security product company ProtectAVan to offer a range of the latest anti-theft devices to outwit criminals.
Products available include on-board diagnostic (OBD) port protectors, electronic control unit (ECU) shields, spare wheel guards, pedal boxes, catalytic converter protectors and additional/replacement locks.
Andrew Hill, Marketing Manager at Burnt Tree, said: “As a responsible rental company with a total fleet of some 15,000 vehicles we are only too aware of the challenges businesses can face if their vans are stolen.
“The damage to your business can be significant.
“Not only do you lose valuable time that should be spent on the road but you also have to deal with the hassle of informing the police and your insurers before you can even think of finding a replacement vehicle.
“Worse still, if your van was full of expensive tools when it was taken then the inconvenience will be significant and you have to bear the cost of replacement.
“That’s why we’ve produced this guide in partnership with ProtectAVan and are urging drivers to ‘think thief’ and always be on the lookout.”
Commercial vehicle thefts cost £152million each year in lost assets, and figures hint that criminals are becoming increasingly organised and sophisticated in their efforts.
Statistics show that there has been a dramatic rise in offenders using a key – up from 9% in 1995 to 46% in 2012 (Office for National Statistics).
Mr Hill added that while some ‘key thefts’ are down to driver carelessness, cloned keys, computer software, easy lock pick availability and how-to videos are also to blame.
“When they [thieves] get inside they can plug a laptop into your on-board diagnostics and bypass the vehicle security,” he said.
“They can be in and driving off in less than four minutes, less than the time it takes to buy a coffee or a newspaper.”
Burnt Tree have 18 branches across the UK, serving individual customers, small private businesses, major blue chip corporations and local authorities.
The free anti-theft e-guide can be downloaded from the Burnt Tree website, at www.burnt-tree.co.uk.