Attempted robbery on services (1 Viewer)

Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
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36,703
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
2015
I was driving from Switzerland to Spain yesterday and just before the millau bridge there's a services which I pulled into, there was about 20 other motorhomes parked up so I parked in a middle bay between 2 of them, I had been driving all day so I was out for the count, my wife woke me up a 5am to tell me she herd a loud click and the dog was barking ( small Yorkshire terrier) so I lifted the blind and about 10 feet away was a man stood in the rain with a hoody top on, I got out of bed and went to the front of my van and looked out of the roof window and there was another man just stood there, on checking each window there was 4 men stood around my van, has I was watching out of the window behind my drivers seat one of the men was walking towards me, my dog started barking and I shouted ring the police, and he just stood there right at the side of my window, we turned all the lights on and I was just gonna press my panic alarm on the alarm fob when they all joined up and walked away, my alarm was set on night mode and I have melenco alarms on every window which was all flashing and my alarm has a blue light that flashes on the dash. I know I shouldn't of parked on the services has I've herd many times on here of people waking up to find they have been burgled but my dog was barking and they were still there, when I went out side to check my van there was a small hole under my drivers Door lock and a dint.
 

chesterfield hooligan

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May 12, 2009
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not much of a deterrent but better than nothing
s-l1600.jpg

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Feb 24, 2013
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not long enough
Glad you were OK, hope the damage isn't too bad

Would be interesting to know where you were, if it was part of the toll section I had thought that maybe that would be safer as low lifes wouldn't pay to steal

You really would think that parked with a so many other MH's even on a motorway is as safe as a village aire
 
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
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coachbuilt
Exp
2015
not much of a deterrent but better than nothing
s-l1600.jpg
I deal in commercial vehicles and I've come to the conclusion there's nothing any good that can stop your van being taken, you can buy things to slow them down but if they want it they will have it, now it's getting that bad to even keep safe when inside the van

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OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
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coachbuilt
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2015
Glad you were OK, hope the damage isn't too bad

Would be interesting to know where you were, if it was part of the toll section I had thought that maybe that would be safer as low lifes wouldn't pay to steal

You really would think that parked with a so many other MH's even on a motorway is as safe as a village aire
Funny you should say that I was talking to a guy in the services before I left and he said that they get it alot in there because it's not a toll section, he said they only seem to target motorhomes cars and waggons from the UK. I think it's called the a7
 
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
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36,703
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coachbuilt
Exp
2015
I have been caravaning for years but only motorhoming for 2 up and down the UK, and this was my first time abroad in my MH, I pulled on my first aire in the middle of nowhere and I must be honest me and the wife was scared to death, and then I go and pull with loads of other MH in a well lite services and this happens

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Feb 22, 2011
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Thats a scarey storey and I`m glad to hear you are all ok.
But I struggle to understand what they were hoping to achieve knowing the van was likely to be occupied.
Break in through the drivers door without you hearing and then what, snatch whatever was nearby ? or confront the occupants, kick them out and steal the van ? It just seems a very high risk stratergy but who knows.
It just seems to me full or risk when they could easily identify an empty van somewhere. Burgulars don`t usually like confrontation.
At least they didn`t try and gas you !
 
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
Funster No
36,703
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
2015
Thats a scarey storey and I`m glad to hear you are all ok.
But I struggle to understand what they were hoping to achieve knowing the van was likely to be occupied.
Break in through the drivers door without you hearing and then what, snatch whatever was nearby ? or confront the occupants, kick them out and steal the van ? It just seems a very high risk stratergy but who knows.
It just seems to me full or risk when they could easily identify an empty van somewhere. Burgulars don`t usually like confrontation.
At least they didn`t try and gas you !
I was thinking the same thing, I've read a few times on the forums about people getting broke into when asleep, that's why I had my alarm fitted so I can set it when asleep on the doors only, but that does nothing for the windows so I fitted melenco window alarm, but they must of done the door lock when the dog started barking so they must of known we were gonna be awake and they still come back
 
Nov 30, 2009
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Glad you weren't robbed. Or worse. Did you manage to sort out your insurance ? I remember you worrying about it running out whilst you were away .

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OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
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36,703
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
2015
Yes thanks Ralph, my caravan guard runs out on the 1st and then my new one starts then, I went with comfort in the end it was half the price
 
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
Funster No
36,703
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
2015
IMO western Europe could well become less safe with many migrants from the middle east needing to support themselves .
Glad you're OK.
So true, I was looking straight at them I no what I saw

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magicsurfbus

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Oct 11, 2010
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Since 1997
I have been caravaning for years but only motorhoming for 2 up and down the UK, and this was my first time abroad in my MH, I pulled on my first aire in the middle of nowhere and I must be honest me and the wife was scared to death, and then I go and pull with loads of other MH in a well lite services and this happens

Don't let it put you off trying non-motorway aires in cities, towns, and villages. Treat yourself to some sort of guide book or app that lets you plan future stops in advance. It's no fun when a bad thing happens early on but they're usually one-offs. On the second (non-motorway) aire we ever stayed on an old VW caught fire during the night, in a row of tightly-parked MHs. Fortunately no-one was hurt, although the VW was charred scrap. Didn't stop us going to others - just made us more careful.

A good tip I read on here was to carry a dog bowl and leave it near your door step with some water in, whether you've got a dog or not. Our non-dog is called Balthazar.
 
Feb 22, 2008
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Perhaps a 12V electric fence energiser with insulated wire with breaks in the insulation behind the door handles.
 
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
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36,703
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coachbuilt
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We drove straight from that services straight to benidorm and are now on a campsite, but the drive nearly killed me I think it was something like 800km but there was no way the wife would let me stop, but on getting here my wife has got talking to another motorhomer and they've told her to strap the 2 doors together and what you have just said lol I can see this camper being for sale when we get back

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DBK

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The trick of opening doors by piercing just below the lock is well known by thieves. They can then open the door after poking a screwdriver through the hole and activating the lock.
The stainless steel plates you can get which fit under the handle are a very good way of defeating this method of attack.
I fitted Milenco door locks as an alternative. They need to be locked in place to be more secure - I now know thieves can bend the upper frame of the door outwards and hook the lock arm uo with a bit of wire. I described fitting them here: (a bit fiddly for the DIY challenged :) ) http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/milenco-cab-door-deadlocks.114749/
We also have an alarm which cover the windows and Charlie, our always alert guard dog.

DSC_0068.JPG
 
Last edited:
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
Funster No
36,703
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
2015
Perhaps a 12V electric fence energiser with insulated wire with breaks in the insulation behind the door handles.
So far I've got 2 trackers fitted, a alarm, window alarms that all flash, and I need a dog bowl and to strap me doors together, when I was caravaning all the forums was for arguing about who is the best caravan club or cc club
 
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
Funster No
36,703
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
2015
The trick of opening doors by piercing just below the lock is well known by thieves. They can then open the door after poking a screwdriver through the hole and activating the lock.
The stainless steel plates you can get which fit under the handle are a very good way of defeating this method of attack.
I fitted Milenco door locks as an alternative. They need to be locked in place to be more secure - thieves can bend the upper frame of the door outwards and hook the lock arm otherwise with a bit of wire. I described fitting them here: (a bit fiddly for the DIY challenged :) ) http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/milenco-cab-door-deadlocks.114749/
We also have an alarm which cover the windows and Charlie, our always alert guard dog.

View attachment 164089
I strap the front doors and the hab door wherever I go, in whichever country. The only people I know personally who've been robbed were staying on a campsite.
Everybody rates the aires don't get me wrong I've stopped on 2 insurance the last week and nothing has happened so I can't call them, but it makes you wonder why alot of them are isolated away
 
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
Funster No
36,703
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
2015
Everybody rates the aires don't get me wrong I've stopped on 2 insurance the last week and nothing has happened so I can't call them, but it makes you wonder why alot of them are isolated away
Sorry that shouldn't say insurance it's Sopose to say within
 
Feb 22, 2008
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So far I've got 2 trackers fitted, a alarm, window alarms that all flash, and I need a dog bowl and to strap me doors together, when I was caravaning all the forums was for arguing about who is the best caravan club or cc club

Aahh never get bored with motorhoming :D

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Minxy

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The services was on the A75 Aire de l'Aveyron N88

This is the one I believe:

upload_2017-5-20_22-37-23.png


I'm sorry you've had this experience, it's not nice at all to have anything happen like this whilst on holiday, regardless of whether anything was actually taken.

I have never, and never will, stay on a motorway aire, or one nearby and we don't 'do' campsites so all our stops are aires, car parks, or wild camping and have been for many years.

The 'problem' with motorway aires is not only are they busy areas with vehicles and people coming and going all the time that no-one bats an eyelid about, but they are also noisy so you aren't likely to hear if anyone is lurking outside your MH or trying to break in until it's too late. Add to that mix if you've had a long journey and are overly tired (and possibly had a bit of vino), so you sleep deeper and it makes it even more unlikely that you'd be woken anyway.

Unfortunately vehicle alarms rarely deter the 'snatch and run' brigade as by the time you've realised what's happened they've already grabbed whatever's in reach and have made off with it. Even window alarms, which may make you feel better, won't deter them although at night the 'burglars' are less likely to go for entry via windows as they tend to be noisier to get open than just 'popping' the cab door locks.

Hopefully this won't put you or your wife off, instead let it make you more aware and therefore take more measures to reduce the risk in the first place, ie use less 'easily accessible' aires (ie ones next to motorways), and make sure that everything is put away well out of sight when you leave your MH during the day as well as at night, so that there is nothing on view to 'tempt' thieves. Also when you do stop don't go 'flashing' about your stuff such as laptops, tablets, cameras, bags etc but keep them out of view if you can so that they can't been 'observed' easily, that way would-be thieves already there won't 'know' what's on offer.

Most of all though, don't get paranoid about it ... it will probably never ever happen again.
 

mikebeaches

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So far I've got 2 trackers fitted, a alarm, window alarms that all flash, and I need a dog bowl and to strap me doors together, when I was caravaning all the forums was for arguing about who is the best caravan club or cc club
Sorry to hear about your unfortunate experience.

In addition to the dog bowl with water in, we also have a heavy duty dog lead looped onto the door handle by the dog bowl - just no dog! ;)

We often turn the cab seats sideways and push them as far as they will go so the backs are into the cab doors - on our last van, with the armrests down, they were nigh-on impossible to turn around from an open cab door - thus blocked entry. Current van, it might be possible, but not easy - especially without causing a disturbance.

Last van - coachbuilt - used an elastic bungee tightly wrapped a couple of times around the inside habitation door handle and a nearby fixed handle in the van. Only took moments to put on and likewise to remove. So even if the door lock was broken by a thief, they couldn't get the door open more than quarter of an inch at most.

Rightly or wrongly, usually feel fairly safe... :sneaky:
 
Oct 8, 2014
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I'm a newbie and always will be. You never know it all.
So far I've got 2 trackers fitted, a alarm, window alarms that all flash, and I need a dog bowl and to strap me doors together, when I was caravaning all the forums was for arguing about who is the best caravan club or cc club


Just buy the dog....it'll be cheaper and safer in the long run.:D

Ohh, and you also get the added bonus of a freind for life.(y)

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Jeff and terri

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That all sounded horrible. Glad your ok. Hope the experience does not put you off . I've stayed on many a nice Aires but always weary. Where've I park for the night
 
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May 8, 2016
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Yes thanks Ralph, my caravan guard runs out on the 1st and then my new one starts then, I went with comfort in the end it was half the price
As long as you never leave the van for 36 hours unoccupied, you should be ok. Comfort policy is notorious
 

magicsurfbus

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This is the one I believe:

View attachment 164100

Stopped there last month - it's the one with the old reconstructed stone buildings and the castle up on the hill. Interesting stop during the day, but we don't go near the Autoroute at night.

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