Warning to motorhome owners after suspicious caller in Ryedale

Police are warning motorhome and campervan owners in North Yorkshire about a spate of suspicious callers.

By Sarah Fitton
Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 10:54 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 10:56 am

Over the last few weeks, owners of these kinds of vehicles have reported people turning up on their doorsteps asking to buy their motorhome or campervan – even though they are not for sale.

Officers are concerned that this activity could be linked to crime, and are urging owners to be vigilant and check their vehicles are secure.

On Wednesday, April 7, a man knocked on the door of a house in Malton and asked the homeowner if he was selling his motorhome.

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Motorhome owners have been visited by suspicious callers in recent weeks.

There have also been similar reports by a number of campervans and motorhome owners around Selby.

Inspector Clive Turner, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force, said: “Please remember, you aren’t obliged to buy anything from or sell anything to doorstep callers.

"Rogue traders often try to take advantage of householders by using high-pressure sales techniques, or may even be looking for opportunities to steal vehicles or property.

“It’s clear that a group of people are deliberately visiting homes in North Yorkshire with campervans parked outside so it’s extremely important that if you own one, you double-check your security measures.

“In many cases, we have been able to respond to reports of suspicious activity by increasing patrols and visiting homes to gather evidence and provide crime prevention advice – so those responsible will find it increasingly difficult to target vehicles in our area.

“I’d urge everyone to remain vigilant, and follow our security advice. And if you are aware of suspicious activity, such as people appearing to take an interest in parked campervans or other high-value vehicles, contact North Yorkshire Police on 101.”

The police's advice to vehicle owners is to:

Write your vehicle identification number (VIN) in several hidden places within the camper van. Use a permanent marker to write the VIN on the underside of drawers, in cupboards, and on wooden surfaces. Etch the VIN onto the windows using a diamond tipped engraver. This makes the vehicle easy to identify if it is stolen.

Always lock all doors and windows every time you leave your campervan. Check and lock your roof light and gas compartment as well.

Do not leave personal or valuable items on display inside the vehicle. Consider forensic and security marking your personal items. In particular, never leave vehicle registration documents inside the campervan as they can help a thief to sell it on.

Fix lock nuts or wheel clamps to the wheels.

Block in the campervan behind a locked gate or with another vehicle parked in front of it.

Fit a tracking device and an alarm and switch this on every time you leave your campervan, even if it’s just for a short time. Keep your keys with you at all times.