French Robbery

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Zajacp, May 25, 2015.

  1. Zajacp

    Zajacp

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    Just got back from a trip down Southern France , on our way down we pulled over at a service station on the A6 late at night for a couple of hours. We park over in a lorry parking area .at 11 ish all the Lorries started to leave the site leaving us on our own.at 1am I hear a lorry pull up and didn't think nothing of it carried on watching a DVD and fell a sleep. At 3.30 I awoke to find some bloke with a pool cue at the bottom of our bed trying to fish out my wife's hand bag.i chased him down the road and he disappeared into the bushes.we were the only van in the car park and he decided to pull up with in 2ft of us, we could only just open the hab door.?
    At this time I checked my van and thought nothing had been taken,then I realised he had taken the keys. I called my insurance who told me that they could recover me or I should get hold of a lock smith and send them the bill,
    Is this common practice for insurance company's .any way about 20min later I hear the lorry pull off and thought I check outside that when I noticed the van keys on top of the driver side tyre. I found that there was visual marks on the van or locks until I noticed some oil running down the side of the lock and on closer inspection I could see that there was a small hole underneath the plastic door trim and rubber seal.he must have pushed a small screw driver up into the lock which must release the central locking system . I have the x250 model so be aware if you have this model.
    Apart from this we had a great time
     
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  2. Irishrover

    Irishrover Read Only Funster

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    Glad you both were ok and the episode didn't spoil your trip.
     
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  3. f6c

    f6c Funster

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    Not a good night! At least you are both safe.
     
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  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    You werent gassed then......makes a refreshing change.

    Common knowledge that French truck parks on service areas are the worst place you can stop for the night.
     
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  5. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Very sorry to hear of your break-in and understand how you feel as have experienced break ins too.

    May I ask, where on the A6 were you?
     
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  6. Foghorn Leghorn

    Foghorn Leghorn Funster

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    Good to hear your Ok but this just reaffirms why its not safe to overnight just anywhere .
    Would far rather use a municipal campsite for a few euros and be safe
     
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  7. Zajacp

    Zajacp

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    Hi Veevee . We was heading south and I think it was junction 25.just before macon.we had planned to stop at the municipal site but stopped for a coffee and thought it would be ok for a few hours.
     
  8. Zajacp

    Zajacp

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    Foghorn. Apart from this france is a pretty safe place and as you say it's better to
    Pay a few euro and feel safe at nite.
     
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  9. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Glad it turned out well in the end and a timely reminder to hide everything of value when it is not needed. Just put in a locker or wardrobe is better than left in view.
     
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  10. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    I would imagine the small hole was drilled in to allow access to the lock mechanism in the door, but I am pretty sure on our MH this does not activate the central locking.
    What a shame you didn't catch him and teach him the error of his ways, with a frying pan around the head, for example!
    On the plus side, nothing lost, and a good holiday had by all, so all's well that ends well as they say :D
     
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  11. Nirvanauk

    Nirvanauk Funster

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    @
    @Foghorn Leghorn Have to agree with you 100% on this mate.!
     
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  12. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    Don't be too sure, this happened at Camping de l'Ile d'Or on the Loire in June 2013.... ( this wasn't us!)

    Just returned from a 2 week trip of the Dordogne in a motorhome, we stopped off here for one night on the way home having also stayed here last year. We love the site and Amboise.
    Got up early to push on home to find under our van a handbag, pair of shorts etc. Then saw a group of peole talking, husband went over to enquire if they had lost a handbag and was told they had all been burgled in the night. In the end it transpired about a dozen vans had been done, they had all left side windows open at night as it was hot and the blinds had been sliced and stuff taken that was within reach. Most of the vans affected were around us but we had our windows shut and were fine. One Japanese family came running over when they saw the police arrive, they were in a tent and it had been slashed in the night. Money, cameras, ipods, keys etc taken. Police did come quickly and dusted for prints etc. This has also been posted on motorhome facts website.
    Its a lovely site so such a shame when these things happen. i shall still return in my motorhome but however hot keep your side windows shut.

    Glad you are ok Zajacp and the experience hasn't put off. Most of France is very safe, but you still need to take sensible precautions, as you would anywhere else in the world. I have to agree though, motorway service areas are notorious for overnight thefts and best avoided for anything other than a midday break or for fueling. We always use aires in small villages and have 2 dogs that wake at the slightest sound outside.

    Allan
     
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  13. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    Not a nice experience for a first trip abroad, but great service from you motorhome insurance company at that time of the morning.
     
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  14. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Glad you are both ok. I stopped overnight a couple of times on motorway service stations in France, 2 dogs with me who would have growled/barked had anyone come near. Wouldn't do it now that I've read of so many thefts.
     
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  15. Cobweb

    Cobweb

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    Sorry to hear about this happening to you it must have been a shock.
    It really seems that service stations for any longer than picking up fuel or a quick break are not safe . When we pull up anywhere like that even for lunch I always make sure doors are locked and that nothing of value is in sight .
     
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  16. parknride

    parknride Funster

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    Glad to hear no one hurt and no real loss. Its sickening all the same. Hope you can still enjoy your Moho and holidays. Don't know what I would do if we got broken into I'm a nervous Nellie anyway regards parking up. If I'm the teeniest bit not sure I won't stop.
     
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  17. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I have always preferred physical security over fancy electronic alarms/trackers etc etc.

    I would recommend anyone with a panel van based motorhome to get either deadlocks or something like Armaplate.

    I put deadlocks on mine which you physically need the key for they can't be operated by smashing the window then reaching in to unlock. I leave nothing of value within reach of the driver or passenger side doors.

    My theory is that the thief won't want to smash the window and clamber in. for one it looks extremely suspicious and secondly they run the risk of being trapped in the vehicle.. Thieves are generally sneaky opportunistic cowards and will move onto another van if the risk is too high for them.

    If I had a newer vehicle I would have fitted armaplates as well. This would prevent the screwdriver hole in the door technique. However on their own they don't prevent the smash and grab method.
    They are however a physical deterrent to screwdriver attacks. Make your vehicle look like to much work/risk...

    I don't lock the deadlock on the habitation side when I am in the vehicle but I do have a strong wire loops like a door chain to prevent it being opened from the outside when I am in it.

    For me physical security beats fancy electronics every time.
     
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  18. Lindacarole

    Lindacarole Funster

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    Sorry to hear of your break-in but glad you are OK.
    Hope it has not ruined your trip.
    Well done for scaring them off, and running after them!
    LC
     
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  19. Funnymunny

    Funnymunny Read Only Funster

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    Zajacp,
    Are you saying the lorry driver was the one that broke into your van ? Did you get any details of the wagon
     
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  20. Robert Clark

    Robert Clark Funster Life Member

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    If French service stations were forced to have a sign up saying how many people had been robbed I'm sure they'd take more interest in improving security, or at least warn people of the dangers
     
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