Own or buying a caravan? Make sure it’s locked up safe.

A spate of caravan thefts in Melbourne’s Bayside has raised the flag that there is likely a growing black market for stolen caravans and campervans.

The thefts, which have spiked in the last two months, come as caravan sales go through the roof. Holidaymakers in search of a getaway are now looking locally rather than overseas, for obvious reasons, but it means that there is a shortage or at the very least a waitlist on many popular models.

Pop up camper trailer by Newage

In particular, the Jayco Outback Swan seems the camper of choice for crooks, with the model being stolen from different families across Melbourne suburbs Black Rock, Hampton, Parkdale and Mordialloc. In one instance, a family in Mordialloc were sleeping while the thief walked up to the campervan that was parked on the street, unhitched it, and then took off in a car with it in tow, as shown on CCTV footage shared by 7NEWS. “We got up in the morning, went out to walk the dog and it’s gone,” Katie Hopkins told 7NEWS. “This has been our family holidays for years. We’ve travelled around half of Australia in it. We spent six months living out of it.”

That particular campervan is a 2015 model Swan with the rego W84 041. 

There is now concern that stolen vans will be appearing on the marketplace and unsuspecting buyers could potentially find themselves parting with around $30,000 for such a model to a crooked operation before having to hand the stolen goods over to police.

For buyers, it is recommended that the VIN number be checked.

For owners of caravans looking to secure them, it is recommended to padlock the coupling and consider using a wheel clamp to deter theft, and putting it in the backyard or garage is possible.

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About Author

Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax, Carsales.com.au, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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