At the Lawns Show, I was talking to the National Caravan Council (NCC) and was told the number of caravans being stolen had dropped to below 1500 per year. That's great news of course. This compares with around 5000 a few years ago and is due in no small measure to the fact that the manufacturers are now fitting tracker units and the Al-Ko Secure Wheel Lock is a serious deterrent too.
However, the drop in theft of the actual caravan is being offset by an increase in caravan break-ins with thieves taking what is in the caravan, rather than the van itself. We're talking when the van is away from a site here. It's most vulnerable when it is in storage.
Burglary from caravans could be pretty lucrative too. After all, how many of us leave electrical items such as a cameras or portable tellies in the van between tours?
So what can you do about it? Well, the best advice is the simplest as usual. Remove valuable items from the caravan if possible. At the very least keep them out of site from people peering in the windows doing a bit of reconnaissance. Also, check the terms of your caravan insurance policy. If items taken from inside the caravan while in storage aren't covered, see if you can upgrade the level of cover, or speak to your home insurer.
The items stolen are very difficult to identify too, so if the police do catch the thief so our advice is to buy a UV pen and mark anything of value left in the caravan with your postcode or other easily recognised identification. Even if the worst does happen, knowing you might be able to help Police snare the criminal and recover stolen items may go some way to easing the pain.