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Van theft on the rise, police claim

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The police Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS) has warned owners of vans that their vehicles are increasingly being targeted by thieves.

Stating that the most common vehicle stolen last year was the Ford Transit, AVICS said it believed many of the vans are broken for parts or cloned and sold on.

Police believe vans are targeted because it is more common for owners to leave keys in accessible places.

While the Transit is the most commonly stolen van, AVICS warned that thieves are increasingly on the lookout for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which is now one of the most common vehicles to be cloned.

An increase in the number of stolen refrigeration vans is expected next year when legislation meaning that all food must be carried in such vehicles is introduced.

Van cloning has been made much easier following the loss of 2.2m V5 documents from a DVLA printer, which police believe have found their way into the hands of fraudsters.

© Press Association 2009