Attempted robbery on services (1 Viewer)

OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
Funster No
36,703
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
2015
This is the one I believe:

View attachment 164100

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.
Very informative minxy girl I defo won't be stoping at any more services. The problem with us was first time into Europe in the van too giddy and got carried away, when to brugge stopped on a aire and loved it, next day Luxembourg and stopped the night a motorway services with no problems, then to a aire in france and then to a campsite in interlacken for 2 days, then I got talking to a guy and told him I was heading to benidorm, he told me to go to Geneva by motorway and then turn tolls off which I did, that's were things went wrong for us, we got lost in the scenery and before we knew it dark arrived and it was 10pm, so I turned tolls back on again and within 30 mins we was at the services completely knackered. So it's completely our fault we are in no rush even though we was rushing and I've got loads of apps and I would think every aire book there is, so we need to slow down and plan the next stop.
 
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
Funster No
36,703
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
2015
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:
Yes Mike I've got the same handle on the inside of the habitation door just need the bungee straps very good idea, I've already got some straps for the front doors which I use for the awning Which did blow over the van and broke on our second outing, surely things can only get better

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OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
Funster No
36,703
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
2015
You may joke but drill a small hole in the floor for the earth spike and connect the output to the skin, you'd feel nothing inside but they would get a surprise.
In Belgium I seen a guy in a very big 4 wheel drive army looking vehicle which he converted into a camper , now I no why

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Kevan

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Jan 18, 2014
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I fitted HEOSAFE locks
unnamed (5).jpg
 

Kevan

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They look good Kevan, do they fit onto a Fiat ducato do u know
yes that is what my van is, 2013 ducato, if you have got remis blinds they even give you a template to cut out the corner, posted a another pic, so you can see better only took about half hour per lock.
unnamed (6).jpg
 
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
Funster No
36,703
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
2015
yes that is what my van is, 2013 ducato, if you have got remis blinds they even give you a template to cut out the corner, posted a another pic, so you can see better only took about half hour per lock.
View attachment 164155
Yes it's the same has mine, does it screw into the metal aswell has the plastic, also it looks like a belgium website or do I order from the UK, thanks
 
Oct 12, 2009
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Having read quite a lot of threads over the years about thefts of and from MHs it stikes me that any with cab doors are more vulnerable than those with only one Habitation door.

I think if I were in occupation I would be at the habitation door waiting for them before they could jemmy it open.

For those with 2 cab doors and reading recommendations to use bungees between the two, I would recommend ratchet straps well-tensioned. With bugees they might be able to get the door open enough to cut them. With ratchet straps which are used for heavy loads the door will not move. They are easy enough to rig if you get the type with hooks to attach to the door handles - maybe quicker than bungees.

Geoff
 

Teuchter

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I have been caravanning for 32 years but in 2014 I have"gone over to the dark side"
Having read quite a lot of threads over the years about thefts of and from MHs it stikes me that any with cab doors are more vulnerable than those with only one Habitation door.

I think if I were in occupation I would be at the habitation door waiting for them before they could jemmy it open.

For those with 2 cab doors and reading recommendations to use bungees between the two, I would recommend ratchet straps well-tensioned. With bugees they might be able to get the door open enough to cut them. With ratchet straps which are used for heavy loads the door will not move. They are easy enough to rig if you get the type with hooks to attach to the door handles - maybe quicker than bungees.

Geoff

For those with 2 cab doors the best solution (IMO) is to have proper deadlocks fitted by a locksmith who specialises in van locks - very, very secure & very tidy!! :)
 

Minxy

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One thing to bear in mind with all this extra door security ... make sure you can get OUT of one of them in a hurry if there's an emergency (eg fire).

As regards breaking in generally, poly-plastic windows are the most vulnerable, we had one of ours forced in Pisa during the day, fortunately our dogs were inside (blinds closed so the would-be thieves couldn't see them ... we won't make THAT mistake again!) so once the sound of the window catches being broken occurred the dogs would have gone nuts and hopefully given them a massive shock!

We had considered getting some of the Lock-m-out window catch covers, which makes the catches unable to be 'pushed' up to open the window and no doubt adds a bit of strengthening to the catches themselves but I was never overly happy about them ... as my question was ... if the catches don't give way then the window would surely? I asked if this test had been carried out on a window fitted with Lock-m-out covers but it hadn't so wasn't content to buy them. This concern was well-founded as we observed during our recent holiday.

Whilst staying on some parking for the night (approved for MHs to stop on but NO camping), a British MH drew up and we got chatting and found out that they were travelling Europe for 9 months and not due back in the UK until September. We'd noticed that their MH had a patched up side window and it transpired that it had been broken into by prising open the said window. They didn't have any 'Lock-m-out' covers fitted but the original window catches had held firm and therefore the window had 'succumbed' instead and cracked ... needless to say the miscreants got in and made off with a load of stuff. The upshot is they couldn't get a replacement window in Europe (Swift Kontiki) so had to fork out €300 to get it fibre-glassed so they didn't have to come back to the UK early, fortunately their insurance company were happy with so long as it was made secure and agreed to cover the cost, as well as the cost of replacing it when they finally returns to the UK. Whilst a 'break in' would be bad news, having the additional hassle of sorting out a broken poly-window too would be extremely annoying (as it was for him) ... photos of his temporary repair:

DSCF5490.JPG
window 2.jpg

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filopastry

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Nov 11, 2013
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As with houses, you will never stop determined thieves, only opportunists. We have nothing on show except the sat nav but I do think maybe it is the UK plates that attract them. they'll see you as having lots of goodies bling and cash with the huge disadvantage of not knowing the lingo and having problems calling the old bill. The ratchet straps are normally available at most supermarkets on the car aisle and will cost you a princely 4/5 euros normally for 2 or 3.
 
Aug 18, 2014
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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

The vast majority of thefts , especially around Barcelona used to always be on the toll road ,the AP7 , peaje.
My argument was & still is how do they get off ?
They even caught one lot on camera having flagged down a car with a supposed problem ,distracted them & they were robbed ; all on the AP7.
Having said that I stop on them when I use them in the car. When it's Ramadan I park with the Moroccans as as soon as sun goes down they park up to eat & well in to the night so that's added security. (y) If you can put up with them playing football.:D2
With the MH I don't use tolls as there is no advantage , it's too slow, & use obscure roads & just stop in the roadside aire. I've never had problems even when these roads have only a few vehicles/hr during the day. At night there's nothing much ata all. Then again I'm on Spanish plates , if that was going to make a difference ?
 
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
Funster No
36,703
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coachbuilt
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2015
One thing to bear in mind with all this extra door security ... make sure you can get OUT of one of them in a hurry if there's an emergency (eg fire).

As regards breaking in generally, poly-plastic windows are the most vulnerable, we had one of ours forced in Pisa during the day, fortunately our dogs were inside (blinds closed so the would-be thieves couldn't see them ... we won't make THAT mistake again!) so once the sound of the window catches being broken occurred the dogs would have gone nuts and hopefully given them a massive shock!

We had considered getting some of the Lock-m-out window catch covers, which makes the catches unable to be 'pushed' up to open the window and no doubt adds a bit of strengthening to the catches themselves but I was never overly happy about them ... as my question was ... if the catches don't give way then the window would surely? I asked if this test had been carried out on a window fitted with Lock-m-out covers but it hadn't so wasn't content to buy them. This concern was well-founded as we observed during our recent holiday.

Whilst staying on some parking for the night (approved for MHs to stop on but NO camping), a British MH drew up and we got chatting and found out that they were travelling Europe for 9 months and not due back in the UK until September. We'd noticed that their MH had a patched up side window and it transpired that it had been broken into by prising open the said window. They didn't have any 'Lock-m-out' covers fitted but the original window catches had held firm and therefore the window had 'succumbed' instead and cracked ... needless to say the miscreants got in and made off with a load of stuff. The upshot is they couldn't get a replacement window in Europe (Swift Kontiki) so had to fork out €300 to get it fibre-glassed so they didn't have to come back to the UK early, fortunately their insurance company were happy with so long as it was made secure and agreed to cover the cost, as well as the cost of replacing it when they finally returns to the UK. Whilst a 'break in' would be bad news, having the additional hassle of sorting out a broken poly-window too would be extremely annoying (as it was for him) ... photos of his temporary repair:

View attachment 164202 View attachment 164203
It sounds a very common thing with British MH. I buy and sell commercial vehicles not motorhomes just vans in general, and over the years I've seen so many ways they have been broken into, very small hole just under the drivers Door just like mine has been done, cutting the quarter light glass out with a Stanley knife, taking the glass out of the drivers mirror and crossing the wires that opens the central locking, then if your alarm is activated with the central locking it turns your alarm off, There's tracker blockers, and if you have a expensive tracker they just disconnect your battery lead and there's a wond you can buy that picks up the battery currant to find the tracker so they can rip it out, so I've got alarms and trackers just to keep the insurance happy and if I get broken into its not nice but it can be replaced by the insurance, but getting broken into when u are in the van is a diffrent matter, so if it's bungee straps rachet straps or internal locks I think we all need them, and all so to keep off them services.

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OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
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36,703
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coachbuilt
Exp
2015
The vast majority of thefts , especially around Barcelona used to always be on the toll road ,the AP7 , peaje.
My argument was & still is how do they get off ?
They even caught one lot on camera having flagged down a car with a supposed problem ,distracted them & they were robbed ; all on the AP7.
Having said that I stop on them when I use them in the car. When it's Ramadan I park with the Moroccans as as soon as sun goes down they park up to eat & well in to the night so that's added security. (y) If you can put up with them playing football.:D2
With the MH I don't use tolls as there is no advantage , it's too slow, & use obscure roads & just stop in the roadside aire. I've never had problems even when these roads have only a few vehicles/hr during the day. At night there's nothing much ata all. Then again I'm on Spanish plates , if that was going to make a difference ?
I came from Geneva with tolls turned off on Sat nav and because it was getting late I turned them on and ended up on the motorway, I should of just parked some were on the road I was on or found a aires, there was no traffic around. The next morning I went all the way to benidorm by toll motorway bored to death with nothing but broken down buildings and graffiti to look at
 

Chris

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No one would ever get in our motorhome.

I am a black belt in origami.

You have been warned.

If you fancy your chances , just bring paper.
 
May 31, 2015
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motorhomes cars and waggons from the UK.

Now that is interesting , is that the uk as a whole , or just the mainland . What i'm getting at is do they target irish vehicle's the same ? .


We often turn the cab seats sideways and push them as far as they will go s

I did that on my hymer a class , when it was parked in storage a little while ago . I forgot when i returned and entered through the cab door , it was quite a struggle to get in , i think it would have been even harder , had the over cab bed been down .

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BMM

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I bought my first motorhome 2 weeks ago and whilst emptying out a few possessions left in it from the last owner I found a can of pepper spray, I assumed the previous owner was just being paranoid but now I understand why!
 
May 8, 2016
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??? Confused by this statement can you explain please. I am with comfort and see no reference to this in my policy.

I strongly suggest you take a moment to have a good long read, it was in there in the past year. If in doubt, phone them up, but they do not cover vehicles left unoccupied for more than 36 hours away from the UK. So if you break down, fall ill and require hospitalisation or have to fly back home in an emergency, you could have a problem

Plenty of posts here about that, and Comfort will confirm if you ask. Sometimes buying the cheapest isn't always the best policy
 
Jan 31, 2016
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I strongly suggest you take a moment to have a good long read, it was in there in the past year. If in doubt, phone them up, but they do not cover vehicles left unoccupied for more than 36 hours away from the UK. So if you break down, fall ill and require hospitalisation or have to fly back home in an emergency, you could have a problem

Plenty of posts here about that, and Comfort will confirm if you ask. Sometimes buying the cheapest isn't always the best policy
Thanks renewal due in less than 4 weeks will chat to them. Found wording in policy don't see an issue. It asks you to contact them if leave more than 36 hours so if you are ill etc you just need to notify them or arrange for someone to do so appreciate issue for sole travellers.

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Last edited:
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
27
21
westyorkshire
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36,703
MH
coachbuilt
Exp
2015
Now that is interesting , is that the uk as a whole , or just the mainland . What i'm getting at is do they target irish vehicle's the same ? .




I did that on my hymer a class , when it was parked in storage a little while ago . I forgot when i returned and entered through the cab door , it was quite a struggle to get in , i think it would have been even harder , had the over cab bed been down .
He was talking about france, but I won't be stoping anywere in Europe in motorway services.
 
May 31, 2015
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He was talking about france, but I won't be stoping anywere in Europe in motorway services.

Yeah , i realise that , but you said they targeted vehicle's registered in the uk , irish plate's are different . My point is i'm looking at a private plate to hide the age of the van , an irish plate .
 
OP
winky
Jun 5, 2015
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Yeah , i realise that , but you said they targeted vehicle's registered in the uk , irish plate's are different . My point is i'm looking at a private plate to hide the age of the van , an irish plate .
Yes that would be a good idea and leave the GB off the side of the plate
 
Apr 17, 2016
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I have a couple of Irish plates on my cars but they still look like British ones with the yellow rear and white front plates.
You won't be able to change the style of plate on a newer motor so don't think it will make a lot of difference.

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