RV Owners Want Justice After Rig Was Turned Into a Meth Lab

Last Updated on May 16, 2023 by Jess

Many workers dream for decades about how they will spend their glory days in retirement.

Jeff Sondrup and his wife planned to take their Class A motorhome on as many adventures as possible. They dreamed of seeing the country and experiencing breathtaking scenery.

However, those plans were thwarted when the couple awoke to experience every RV owner’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately for the adventurous couple, the nightmare only got worse as time went on. So what led the family to throw out an entire summer’s worth of travel plans?

Today, we’re going to look at this family’s unfortunate story and how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim yourself. Let’s get started!

Owners have their expensive mobile home stolen

Jeff Sondrup’s neighbor’s security system has captured footage of thieves making off with his beautiful Tiffin Class A motorhome. Sondrup believes the perpetrators have been in the area for some time.

The motorhome was parked in his garage, which was behind a large locked gate, and was equipped with a security system. One can only assume that the couple feels hurt and devastated.

Jeff told local station CBS News Colorado, “You work hard your whole life to buy something like this so you can travel and enjoy life, and people just take it away from you.”

The couple had just returned from Florida and were planning more adventures this summer. Although police arrested the man responsible and the couple got their RV back, they won’t be entering it again anytime soon.

Source: CBS

Suspect arrested, but nightmare gets worse

During the search for the stolen mobile home, authorities received tips and the local news station picked up the story. There were several reports of sightings in the Lakewood, Colorado area.

However, the RV kept moving from one location to another. Fortunately, a week after its disappearance, authorities received a tip about the RV’s location from a local warehouse.

While the Sondrups were happy to get their RV back, it was trashed. Those responsible for the theft had done considerable damage. They also took more than $11,000 worth of stuff from inside, and the couple’s insurance covered only $5,000.

After finding used propane tanks and needles inside the RV, the couple conducted a home test for meth. While the initial test came back negative, the couple hired a professional service that disagreed with the initial test results.

Jeff explained, “They told us that anyone going into the mobile home would have to wear a protective suit.”

Given the condition of their RV, the Sondrups will not be able to travel in the RV anytime soon. The person who allegedly stole the motor home has an extensive criminal record and is charged with second-degree burglary and first-degree theft of motor vehicles.

Are mobile home thefts common?

RV thefts, while not common, do occur from time to time. Thieves usually target smaller mobile homes. A massive Class A motorhome locked in a garage is an incredibly rare RV theft.

Also, thieves usually look for the easiest target, mobile homes that are sitting in a storage lot. They are packed and ready to be taken away. All a thief needs is a suitable towing vehicle to be on the road in a minute or two. We have seen cases where RVs have been stolen in broad daylight.

How to protect your motorhome from theft

Fortunately, you can protect your motorhome from theft. While you can’t make your RV completely theft-proof, you can make it more difficult. Let’s take a look at some important tips you can use to maximize your RV’s security so you don’t become a victim.

Use a hitch lock

If you have a towable RV, you should invest in a hitch lock. Can these devices prevent all thefts? They certainly don’t. They do, however, make it much harder for thieves to hitch their tow vehicle to your camper.

The extra work and increased risk of getting caught are not worth it for many thieves. They’ll likely move on to find an easier target. And cutting or breaking the lock increases noise and attracts attention.

While a hitch lock can’t guarantee that your RV is secure, it’s an excellent first line of defense. If you camp in remote areas or spend some time storing your RV, it’s a good idea to have and use one of these devices.

Install an alarm system

Nothing will send a thief running faster than an unexpected alarm when they try to steal your RV. There are several systems available, including motion detectors, door and window alarms, and GPS alarms.

Even if you hope you never need it, an alarm can be useful when things don’t go as planned. A GPS alarm can make it easier for authorities to locate a stolen RV. Plus, you can place these devices in inconspicuous areas of the RV that thieves may not notice.

If you want to protect your investment, consider installing an alarm system. While these aren’t always perfect, they are effective and can provide comfort when you’re not in your RV.

Use wheel locks

Wheel locks are another useful protective measure that you can use to protect your motorhome from thieves.

These solid steel devices are similar to the “trunks” used by parking authorities for parking violations. They prevent the tire from spinning and any attempt to move it will cause serious damage.

It is possible to remove these devices, but it will not be easy. Thieves are unlikely to have the necessary tools, and if they do, they will attract a lot of attention. Besides, they will have quite a surprise if they try to remove your RV without removing it.

Remember: Do you have noisy wheel bearings? Here is what could be the cause!

Hide valuables

Thieves are usually looking for the easiest way to grab quick cash. Don’t make yourself an easy target by putting your valuables on display. Keep your valuables out of sight and secure, especially when you are away from your RV. Most storage compartments have locks, so use them.

When storing your RV, you should also remove any valuables that could be easily stolen. Portable generators, surge protectors and other valuables can disappear quickly.

We recommend not leaving items in your RV that you would be willing to replace if forced to do so in the event of theft.

Choose parking spaces wisely

A cheap parking space may save you a few dollars each month, but your RV will remain vulnerable to thieves. You should make sure that the parking space offers sufficient security so that your motorhome is safe even in your absence.

You don’t want anyone to have access to the storage unit. If this is the case, don’t be surprised if you find that your RV is long gone the next time you want to use it.

Be selective when choosing sites and storage facilities. If you have a bad feeling, keep looking. You should provide adequate security for access to the facility and a generous number of security cameras to monitor things. Cameras record constantly, which can be helpful if something gets damaged or lost.

Pro Tip: Secure your RV with these handy RV security products!

Motorhomes parked in a secure area

Be adequately insured

As with choosing a storage facility, you may not be doing yourself any favors by choosing a low-cost insurance policy. It may save you a few dollars each month, but you may be disappointed in the event of a claim. Cheap insurance policies usually mean less coverage.

Familiarize yourself with your policy and coverage limitations. You don’t want to find that your policy doesn’t cover something you thought was covered. By the time you file a claim, it’s too late to make any changes to your policy that might help.

Take the time to talk with your provider to make sure you fully understand your policy up front.

Remove key

No matter where you park your RV, always take the keys with you. Don’t make it easy for thieves to make off with your motorhome.

While there are some complicated ways to start a vehicle without keys, it’s usually not easy. By keeping the keys in a different location, you drastically reduce the chances of your RV leaving without you.

We also recommend replacing the standard locks that come with your RV. Manufacturers usually only make a handful of keys for these locks, so there is a good chance that a thief will have access to every single key.

They could use them to break into your RV and take anything of value. Upgrading to an RV lock can reduce the chances of someone breaking into your RV.

Don’t let your RV become a mobile meth lab

No one wants their RV to be stolen and become a mobile meth lab. In such cases, the vehicle usually returns damaged and completely destroyed, if it is returned at all.

Aside from having to completely gut the RV after a theft, it will likely never be safe to enter. You can protect your RV and your future adventures from thieves by following some of our tips.

Unfortunately, despite all these security measures, bad things can still happen. Have you ever had a thief break into your motorhome?

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