It is a daily challenge to keep your tools, goods and equipment in your vehicle safe and secure. Valuable tools in an easy to burgle pickup truck, SUV or van are begging to be stolen. It is not a matter of “if” but “when” your vehicle will be broken into. It is a soft target and very tempting to criminals to forego.

There are three ways you can make your vehicle secure:

· Deterrence: Make your van a less appetizing prospect

· Security: Make you van more secure

· Recovery: Put a tracking system and purchase insurance in case your vehicle is lost

I. Deterrence

Prevention is certainly better than cure when it comes to van security. Here are some tips to deter vehicle theft:

· It would be best not to store tools in your van overnight so remove your tools in the evening

· Park your van in a locked, alarmed garage every evening if possible. Always park in a well-lit area that can be seen from your home or park in your driveway. If your driveway is dark, fit motion sensitive security lights to deter potential thieves. During the day park in busy well-lit areas whenever possible.

· Always lock your van’s doors and keep windows closed even if you are away for a few minutes. Never leave any valuables as phones, sat-nav visible. Leaving keys in ignition is a big no-no, no matter how safe a neighborhood you may be in

· Put a sticker of your security device be it tracker or an alarm in a place where potential thieves can see it

· Most thieves are opportunists so the more obvious security features your van has, the more likely they are to move on to an easier target. Fit a deadlock, and use steering or handbrake locks and install mesh grilles on load-bay windows to add another level of security

· No measure is too small to secure your vehicle. Measures as fitting locking wheel nuts, removable stereo and lockable fuel filter caps all help

· Keep tools out of sight – lock away tools in secure boxes so that they aren’t a temptation for opportunists

II. Secure your van

If all our deterrence strategies fail, you still have some options to prevent thieves from taking off with your van or pickup truck:

· Immobilizers: Install an Immobilizer if you don’t have one. They prevent the engine from starting by cutting off its electrical supply

· Alarm: If your pickup truck or van does not come with a standard alarm then fit the best one recommended by your insurer

· Secure Tool Boxes: Always keep your tools locked away in locked utility or tool boxes. Best of them are like high-tensile steel safes with anti-drill locks. Bolt them securely to the inside or if they are semi-portable then chain them when you lock them inside. This way you can unchain them and take them along with you at night

· Security mark your tools: You can engrave or carve your zip code and name on your tools. This makes them hard to sell and allows you to get your tools back when they are recovered by the police

· Make a list of your tools: Include make, model and serial number in this list, to help the police identify stolen goods and to help you with your insurance claim.

III. Vehicle Recovery

Install a GPS based tracker to get your stolen vehicle back. Get good insurance policy that will cover everything that you might want to replace including goods in transit, any personal belongings and any professional equipment including tools. Also make sure that you are provided with a replacement or courtesy van while you wait for either the return of your vehicle or an insurance check to buy a replacement.