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Every and any van driver with van insurance cover should be aware that van thieves are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the way they target and steal vans.

This revelation comes as a result of a BBC investigation detailing the theft of 14 Ford Transit vans in Lincolnshire by gangs who are using cutting edge equipment to breach the security systems of vans in order to obtain parts and tools.

Experts say that the thieves are using imitations of the sophisticated hacking systems utilised by locksmiths so that they can easily unlock vans, start engines and make an escape.

Lincolnshire Police report that they have liaised with van manufacturer Ford and have subsequently posted details to their website outlining what van drivers can do to help prevent thefts.

"You can get new alarms fitted linked to your phone, or CCTV," said a police spokesperson. "It's about vigilance and improving your own security whenever possible. It's a difficult one. The public has to be vigilant. If they own a Transit van, it's what they can do to help themselves. If anyone is acting suspicious around you."

However, Lincolnshire Police conceded that the spate of high-tech van thefts was "worrying" and indicated that although "in an ideal world, we want to catch these people", they were currently unable to stop the thefts from happening.

Furthermore, local locksmiths admitted that the technologies they use professionally have been misappropriated by the thieves and that there was little they could do to try and counter the thefts.

One man told the BBC that he has been left angry and unable to sleep following the theft of £3,000 worth of tools from his van in October of last year. He also said that he had had difficulty in getting his any driver van insurance provider to pay out for the theft and had to use his credit card in order to buy replacements for the stolen tools.

Ford has said that it is "constantly learning more about theft techniques" and was taking the situation very seriously.