RV Stolen in Broad Daylight and on Camera in Austin

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A man trying to break into a camper van

Having something stolen from you can leave you feeling dirty and somewhat violated. However, one RV owner recently posted on Reddit that his RV was taken.

Imagine the owner’s surprise when he came looking for his camper and noticed it was missing. If we were the owner, we would likely have a few choice words for the thieves.

So how did this RV owner’s project quickly turn from remodeling an RV to tracking down a thief? Let’s look and see!

Thief Boldly Steals RV Parked on Street

While many thieves do their dirty work under the cover the night, that wasn’t the case in this RV theft.

The thief was gutsy enough to back his truck up to the RV and haul it away in broad daylight. This is rather unheard of when it comes to thefts, especially of this magnitude.

Now we know what you’re thinking, why didn’t the owner have the trailer secured? Trust us; we thought the same thing.

However, the owner was in the middle of working on this trailer and had just moved it out to the road. The hitch lock was in the garage and not on the hitch where it was supposed to be.

However, if you know anything about hitch locks, they typically only slow a thief down. Would it have stopped the thief in this instance? Possibly.

However, if they really wanted to take the trailer, they would have come back with a way of cutting through the lock. With the right tools, it would likely only take a minute or two. 

Where Did This Happen?

This RV theft occurred at approximately 2:25 p.m. on Monday, December 26, 2022, in the McKinney Heights neighborhood in South Austin, Texas.

While most people were off playing with their new Christmas toys or at work, the thief in this video was looking to score himself a late Christmas present.

We can’t say with 100% certainty, but we’re almost positive this thief received a fair share of coal in his stocking. Stealing an RV seems like it would land you straight onto next year’s naughty list.

Locals Recognize the Truck – There May Be Hope for Recovery

Luckily, the owner of the RV had a camera and footage of the individual who stole the RV.

They were able to share the video with others in the neighborhood easily, and several locals said they had seen the truck in the neighborhood. So while the owner is without their RV for now, there’s hope that they’ll be reunited with the RV soon.

The owner updated the post to let those keeping an eye out for the RV know there was no license plate on it. In addition, the VIN plate for the trailer was missing from the trailer.

The only identifying features of the rig are the words “Mary Ann” printed on the top of the trailer.

Are RV Thefts Common?

RV thefts aren’t very common, but they occur, and we’ve heard about them more often in recent years.

The massive boom in RVing has likely led to an increase in RV thefts. Unfortunately, tracking information and statistics on RV thefts isn’t an easy task.

This is typically because of how RVs get classified. There is no standard for how RVs are classified in these reports. As a result, some are auto thefts, and others are trailer thefts. Regardless, it’s an unfortunate and devastating situation for any RVer to experience.

Thieves often steal RVs sitting in storage, such as the one in the story. That’s because the slides are in. If you know what you’re doing, it only takes a minute or two to hitch up a trailer.

It’s your job to protect your RV and make it as difficult as possible for anyone up to no good.

Tips for Protecting Your RV from Theft

Thieves will look for the easiest possible target and the one that requires the least effort.

Luckily, there are a handful of things you can do to make it more difficult for them to take off with your RV.

Choose Your Storage Spot Wisely

As we said, most RV thefts occur on campers sitting in storage. You need to be picky about where you’re storing your precious trailer.

Your rig is only as safe as the security where you store it. If you can store it at your home or on your property, you have more control over keeping it secure.

Public storage will be your only option if you don’t have the room or an HOA or local ordinance prohibits you from storing your rig at home. Depending on the size of your rig, this can be incredibly expensive.

However, you get what you pay for, especially regarding security for your rig. You don’t want just anyone having access to the storage facility and able to hitch up your rig and drive off with it.

Keep in Mind: Organize pretty much everything you can think of in your RV with these RV Storage Ideas!

RVs at a secure storage spot

Use a Hitch Lock

As the owner of the stolen RV can attest, hitch locks can be relatively effective. Are they 100% effective? Absolutely not.

However, they will require the thieves to put in substantially more work and possibly draw attention to their actions. As you know, thieves look for the easiest possible target and may not waste their time using a hitch lock.

Again, owning a hitch lock isn’t going to do the trick. You have to use it whenever you don’t hitch your RV to your tow vehicle. A hitch lock is useless if you’re not installing it on your hitch when your rig sits in storage.

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Install a Boot

If you want to take your security a step further, install a boot on your rig. This is another layer of security for your rig that will cause thieves to think twice about messing with your rig.

Whether they’re trying to steal it in the middle of the day or under the cover of darkness, it’s not going to be easy to remove a boot without the keys.

Anyone who sees someone struggling to remove a boot will likely be aware that something suspicious is taking place.

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GPS Monitoring System

Another great option to consider is to install a GPS monitoring system. This is another layer of defense for your RV.

However, GPS monitoring systems typically don’t do much to prevent thieves from taking your rig. However, where they really shine is helping you to locate it once you realize someone has taken it.

A thief may not realize that you have a GPS monitoring system installed on your rig. All you have to do is open the app or activate the system and give the information to law enforcement.

They’ll likely be able to quickly and easily locate your RV and have a conversation or two with whoever is in possession of it.

Close up of a GPS monitoring system to help prevent RV theft
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Install a Security System

Most people don’t think twice about installing a security system on their home or car, so why should their RV be any different?

You can find inexpensive security systems like SimpliSafe and adapt them to your rig. These can be helpful whether you’re actively using your rig or it’s sitting in storage. 

However, many of these units typically require a power source, so you may need to have the luxury of plugging your RV in while it sits in storage.

Keep in Mind: Looking for more security system options? These are some of the best RV Security System out there

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Stay Vigilant and Keep Your RV Safe 

You can never be too safe when protecting your RV and other expensive belongings from thieves.

Unfortunately, thieves are always on the prowl looking for an easy target. You need to do all you can to be one step ahead of them and make it as difficult as possible for them to take off with your stuff. 

However, if you stay vigilant, you can keep your RV and other belongings safe.

Last update on 2024-06-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  1. Well, part of this is because the police here have been instructed to NOT patrol. They only answer 911 calls. If you call them foe anything else, you are told to file a report online. They will do nothing. Everyone here knows it, and theives are having a hay day.

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