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A Tool thief’s best friend

A Tool thief’s best friend

With tool theft rife up and down the country, we’re looking at how criminals are able to gain access to vans so quickly and easily.

Some people are claiming that a skeleton key, available for only £20 online, might be to blame for thousands of van break-ins across the UK.

What is the skeleton key used for?

The key, which can be found on many of the main online marketplaces, is marketed as a locksmith’s tool. However, many people are drawing links to this product and the rise in van break-ins where no damage is done to the vehicle’s locks or bodywork.

Many people in the industry are slamming websites like Amazon and eBay, calling for the tools to be regulated to reduce the chance of them falling into the hands of criminals.

Steffan George from the Master Locksmiths Association said: “These are legitimate locksmiths tools, but they shouldn’t be available to everyone.

“We would welcome a restriction of their sale.”

Surge in tool theft

Along with a rise in the number of thefts taking place, Simply Business also witnessed “a 40 per cent growth in the average value of claims, suggesting thieves are taking more when they do break in.”

And it’s not just the skeleton key you need to look out for, the “peel and steal”, or “peek and seek” method has also been on the rise in recent years. The technique sees criminals bend the tops of van doors down like they’re opening a sardine can before reaching in to swipe the expensive kit inside.

What can you do to prevent tool theft?

The best thing to do to prevent the use of skeleton keys, and many other methods of van break-ins, is to get aftermarket locks fitted to your vehicle. Replacing the factory-fitted locks will instantly render the thief’s skeleton key useless, while adding high-level deadlocks will prevent the doors being bent down.

Deadlocks need to be manually locked using the corresponding key, whereas Slamlocks lock automatically when the vehicle’s doors are shut, making them perfect for multi-drop delivery drivers.

For free, impartial advice on upgrading your van’s security, call 0333 200 7244 or email sales@vehicle-accessories.net

Paul Randall
Paul Randall
2024-03-14
First Class! Dave and the team are fantastic. The fit on our first Mobile Bike Service and Repair Van could not be any better. From the very beginning, through the design process, all the way to completion I cannot fault a single thing. As I write this, our second van is being fitted to exactly the same specification and the third van is on the way. Long may this partnership continue!
Tim Lees
Tim Lees
2024-02-20
Very helpful and patient with an older guy who was a bit nervous ordering from a company I didn't know. The product I wanted wasn't on their website but I thought it worth asking and they had it at a good price. It came the next day and worked perfectly.
Richard Shepherd
Richard Shepherd
2024-01-17
I highly recommend Lee, Dave and the Team at Vehicle Accessories after they did a fantastic job for a one off bespoke van fit for my business. I approached them with a rather radical high concept idea, Dave did a great job taking notes from my extensive brief. He made a great effort to listen and take notes along the way making sure he understood and made suggestions for materials which really led to a much better end product. A particular highlight was a suggestion for them to fabricate a wall mounted Steal Mesh cage system for my equipment which far exceeded my expectations of quality and engineering. During the planning stage and construction suggestions were made to change materials and systems for what they thought would work better for the project as it developed. The end product was perfect and done to a very high standard, it really turned out better than I ever hoped for. Communication throughout was excellent with regular updates, fast responses and easy dialogue when confirming details or discussing changes. Changes were managed quickly and efficiently throughout the build with a great deal of flexibility and professionalism. Even though I was just having just one bespoke build being done for myself I felt highly valued as a customer and treated with the same level of respect and attentiveness as someone ordering a fleet. The quality of work and customer service will certainly mean I’ll be coming back for my next van project.
Philip Taylor Ashby
Philip Taylor Ashby
2023-12-26
Lee and his helpful staff sorted my lock problem that made it easy to break in or steal and at there Christmas closing time🙏, friendly helpful and reasonable thank you all.
Mark Elliott
Mark Elliott
2023-05-23
Great choice of equipment to fit and all done efficiently. They have designed and fitted racking to 75 vehicle for us in the last year.
Ross Thomson
Ross Thomson
2023-05-20
I can’t recommend Lee and his team of wizards enough. They fitted the gas with all the safety requirements and modified / adapted several parts of the electrics. They went above and beyond my expectations - I won’t hesitate to use them again.
Andrew Young
Andrew Young
2023-04-13
What can say.... the order process was simple, prices competitive and when it was realised that I had ordered 2 incompatible parts I got a call to check and recify the order. Collection was easy and the install team did a quick, neat job. Job done....until next time thank you
Annie Meadows
Annie Meadows
2023-02-28
Dave, Lee and the team at VA moved crates from my old van to a new one. Easy to communicate with, quick turn around, met all my requests, made good suggestions (such as putting in a waterproof floor) and did an excellent job. Highly recommend.
miles leech
miles leech
2022-12-22
Big thanks to Dave and the rest of the Vehicle Accessories team. They've done a great job fitting security locks and a floor in my new van. They also moved over my racking and interior lights from my previous van while going out of there way to make it all fit. Excellent service, very efficient and professional. Highly recommended and nice people to deal with. Thanks Miles Ashton Gas


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