Almost an eight of the total thefts of caravans and camper vans in the country over the last eighteen months have taken place in Meath,

43 caravans and campervans have been stolen across the country over the past 18 months – including five in Meath and one in Louth

The thefts, which include 13 during COVID-19,  have led Gardai to issue an appeal to owners to be careful where they park.

The Garda Park Smart appeal comes as the number of ‘staycations’ are expected to increase dramatically this year in light of the pandemic.

The 43 thefts have been recorded since January 2019 – 13 have been stolen since March, when lockdown began.

Meath and Tipperary have had the highest number of thefts, followed by Laois/OffalyClare and Limerick.

The vehicle’s values ranged from 1,000 to 30,000 euro.

As part of their new campaign, Gardai are encouraging all owners to take extra security measures by using tracker devices, wheel clamps and alarms.

They’re also asking people to park in well lit areas, keep doors and windows locked and not to leave valuables in plain sight.