Gardaí urge staycationers to be vigilant following a recent spate of caravan and campervan thefts

Gardaí urge staycationers to be vigilant following a recent spate of caravan and campervan thefts
A motorhome parked overnight on the seafront at Garrettstown, Cork. Picture; David Creedon / Anzenberger

Since March, there have been 13 caravans stolen, two of which were stolen in Cork city.

Speaking today, Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Ber Leetch encouraged the public to be "extra vigilant". 

"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. 

"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," she said. 

"A caravan or campervan can be 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 it's 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, no matter what it is, call the Gardaí immediately," Sgt Leetch continued. 

As part of the Park Smart campaign, Gardaí have previously highlighted that over €30 million worth of items have 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, Gardaí say.

Gardaí have issued the following advice to campervan/caravan owners:

•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 

•Park in a well-lit area

•Keep a light on if leaving unattended overnight 

•Use a cover when not in use. This may deter thieves as pulling off a cover can be noisy and add to the time taken to steal the caravan 

•Keep good records of all serial numbers, unique markings, images of the caravan/campervan etc. Keep documents secure.

•Consider voluntarily registering your caravan with the Central Registration and Identification Scheme

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