Man carrying box

The six second van theft

Why you should be alarmed.

We all realised, I hope, that Gone in Sixty Seconds was a completely improbable film, with its nonsensical plot about Nicolas Cage stealing 50 iconic cars within 96 hours. (Some of the cars were nice, though, and you can see a full list of them here)

What I hadn’t realised, until West Midlands Police released this CCTV footage, was that sixty seconds was improbably long. The clip makes it clear that vehicle theft can take as little as six seconds.

That, admittedly, is theft from a vehicle, and not theft of a vehicle. If the film cliché of instantly driving off in someone else’s car by sparking a couple of leads together, or sticking a screwdriver in the steering column, were ever true, it certainly isn’t the case now.

If you’re prepared to watch a Jerry Bruckheimer film, you are probably ready to believe that nothing is impossible, but the difficulty of driving away most modern cars without the key comes pretty close to that. But it’s a different story when it comes to the difficulty involved in walking off with the contents – and that is particularly true for commercial vehicles.

What’s more, CVs are the vehicles most likely to have contents worth stealing. So many van and truck drivers will, and should, be alarmed by the speed with which the crook in that video gets into the vehicle. And if they should be alarmed, that goes double for the vehicles they drive.

If you depend for your living on the tools and equipment you carry in your van, surely security ought to go a little further than sticking up a notice which reads: “No tools are left in this van overnight.” Especially when the unspoken announcement of that sticker is: “But they’re here all day! Help yourselves!”



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