Spike in vehicle and plant theft during lockdown
Radius Telematics has seen a big increase in the thefts of commercial vehicles and plant since the coronavirus lockdown. With many offices, factories and construction sites abandoned thieves appear to be taking advantage of unattended locations.
According to Radius, vehicles and plant not equipped with security devices that detect and track unauthorised movement are especially vulnerable as the thefts may go unreported for many days or even weeks.
Radius Telematics acquired two companies last year that had a substantial proportion of their business in vehicle and plant security and both are reporting significant spikes in thefts. Altogether Radius companies track over 250,000 vehicles across the globe, with security devices fitted to over 27,000 assets ranging from generators to vans, mini-diggers and earth moving trucks.
Many are equipped with Theft Recovery Trackers; small covert wireless devices with movement and tamper alarms. Once activated the asset is automatically tracked to ensure that stolen assets are recovered quickly and efficiently.
“From security tracker alerts we have seen a doubling in plant and van theft since the lockdown began. It’s incredible that when we are all self-isolating and worrying about a deadly virus, crime is being committed while people and organisations are so vulnerable,” said Greville Coe, Managing Director of Radius Telematics.
One particularly disturbing theft was of a van stolen from a hospice for the terminally ill. The incident in Coventry on the 29th of March saw a property belonging to The Myton Hospices ransacked and the theft of their Ford Transit van.
Fortunately, the vehicle was fitted with a Sure-Track tracker previously donated by Radius Telematics and the vehicle was safely recovered after 3 days. The Thatcham approved Wireless Theft Recovery Tracker allowed the Radius nationwide finder network to accurately track the movements and whereabouts of the stolen vehicle.
Coe added: “It’s shocking that thieves would target a charity caring for the terminally ill in what is an exceptionally difficult time. Radius Telematics tracking services remain fully operational irrespective of the travel and business restrictions imposed due to the Coronavirus crisis. We hope we can help to ensure that essential services can be delivered with minimal disruption,”
CEO for The Myton Hospices, Ruth Freeman, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to Sure-Track for not only donating tracking devices to us after a previous break-in at our distribution centre, but for successfully recovering our stolen van. Their generosity and support means so much and we can’t thank them enough.”
Radius Telematics is a newly branded group formed within Radius Payment Solutions. The new telematics division incorporates a number of telematics-related businesses including their own Kinesis branded vehicle tracking and previous acquisitions including Plant-i, UK Telematics and Sure-Track.