Re: [MH-list] Re: Break-Ins in France - was (unknown)
rosemary wollaston <rosemarywollaston@...>
We are back now and I have only just opened your mail, but thank you very much for the pointers you gave.
We were concerned about being 'done', especially as we spoke to only 1 other motorhomer during our visit, and he had been done... said they put the gas in, threw all the stuff out of the windows and sorted it outside, so we slept with one eye open. Now back in the UK and shattered. It's put us off a bit, I must say, especially as we had planned to go back in the summer. We froze in the winter, and don't want to boil in the summer!
Thanks for your assistance.
From: Steve Robinson <OldAgeTravellers@Googlemail.com>
Sent: Friday, 19 December, 2008 1:03:40
Subject: [MH-list] Re: Break-Ins in France - was (unknown)
I am emailing you directly as I think you said you were leaving
tomorrow. I live in France and have Toured the UK, France, Spain &
Morocco extensively in a motorhome. We regularly use motorway and other
aires to sleep. We have never yet had the slightest trouble with
break-ins but have talked to a number of people who have. There are a
number of simple precautions that will help you keep safe.
1. Never sleep with a window or Heki open even a little. Check every
night before bed that all are properly fastened. If you must have air
then fit an Omni-Fan which in low speed can be used with the lid down
2. If you have a Boxer type base vehicle buy enough strong chain, to
go through the arm rests of the cab doors and back to the middle and
padlock in the middle. If they cut out the quarter light they cannot
open the door. Do it even if you stop for lunch and a nap.
3. If you have a good alarm like Strikeback then you can alarm the
exterior while leaving the interior sensors off. I always activate it
as soon as we stop.
4. We also activate the alarm if sitting outside our van sunbathing
or lounging. It will switch on even if you have the habitation door
open but disable the door sensor. If you doze off in the sun then the
internal sensor will sound the alarm if anybody sneaks into the van.
5. If you do not have an alarm then contact Strikeback as soon as
possible and have one fitted. Our one is similar to strikeback but can
use radio contacts which avoids complicated wiring, so we have alarmed
all the windows and the Hecki.
6. I don't do this myself because I try to keep the thieves out. But
a friend who has been broken into always leaves an old wallet with a
few smallish Euro notes easily found on a shelf. When he was broken
into that's all they took without ransacking the van.
7. When parking in a supermarket don't park next to a wall which
gives them cover and helps them climb up to kick in the window. Always
park visibly in the middle. I also regularly leave my wife and walk
back outside to look at the van. It will complicate it for thieves who
often have one of them follow you round the shop and have a mobile phone
so he can warn the thieves.
8. If things don't feel right then they probably are not right if you
are at a supermarket leave hubby in the van while you shop. We don't
have a dog but we always make as if we are talking to a dog when we
leave the van.
9. This is a difficult one but, If you are flagged down by what looks
like a policeman in an unmarked car, lock your doors and only wind down
the window a crack, do not get out. Whatever he says tell him you will
drive to the nearest police station. Unless you were obviously breaking
the law for some reason he will understand. They have also heard of the
10. If someone flags you down pointing to the wheel or something be
very suspicious especially if they stop.
11. Don't believe the stories about narcotic gas being injected into a
vehicle. This has been strongly condemned by Anaesthetists. The only
knock out drops you will encounter come in a bottle marked Vin or Whisky
etc. It will make you sleep very soundly and may leave you with a
headache in the morning.
There are many other precautions which are obvious so look carefully at
what you do and take precautions. But most of all have a great
holiday. I have attached some POI files for TomTom just copy them into
the France or Europe map directory on the TomTom and they will appear.
"The Old Age Travellers in the passion wagon"
(Machzone Silver Jubilee FOR SALE, see http://tinyurl. com/yudtja )