On one of our recent transports we were the ‘victim’ of an attempted Van Jacking (if that is the correct phrase) in Spain.
We were driving north of Barcelona and it was time to give some of the dogs some exercise, so we indicated to turn into a rest area on the side of the motorway.
As we did my co-driver who was driving at the time observed and commented on the fact that the car ahead had suddenly indicated as well, and despite nearly missing the turn to the picnic area, put on their hazard warning lights, reversed a little and turned into the rest area.
As my co-driver said straight away – looked dodgy!
Once parked in the rest area, as far from the road as possible, I got out of the van to throw out some rubbish and one of the guys from the car (that had parked the other side from us, with a short distance to the exit) walked over and said we had a problem with the van that he wanted to show me.
He claimed that we had fire coming out of the back: the rear right hand side which just happened to be the side furthest from their car and so ‘blind’ to what was going on in their car.
I allowed him to show me, but at no time removing myself from being on view of their car. He was trying to tell me that we had fire coming from the rear wheel arch, and that he needed to show the driver as well!
Co-driver was brilliant, stayed in the van with the doors locked (they and animals therefore safe although I was technically abandoned to any attempts that the Van Jackers wanted to make!!), while I suggested that the guy ‘did one’, and stood and watched until they had driven off.
Once we knew they were gone we inspected the van for any attempts to damage or mark it, double checked the tires to make sure they hadn’t been punctured, and set off.
Yet another reason why we we NEVER leave the van unattended when we have animals on board. There is always one person with the van at all times.
Hard to say what they were after. We had the mandatory Live Animals On Board sign on the back (if you are doing TRACES and have van approved by the Junta you have to have the sign) so they will have know we had animals on board, but I suspect that they were more interested in the array of technology that we have in the cab and which would have been visible when they drove past.