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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

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