These are the cars most commonly stolen as keyless car theft figures soar to all-time high
Stolen vehicle recovery firm Tracker has revealed 92 percent of the cars the group recovered last year were taken without using car keys. The figures are up from the 88 percent recorded twelve months ago and are 26 percent higher than data from four years ago.
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Keyless car thefts are popular among criminal gangs as vehicles can be easily identified and quickly unlocked.
Keyless technology is now accessible in most modern cars and can be exploited by thieves who make special devices used to trick the car to unlock car doors.
Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker said: “Our data has revealed that keyless car theft continues to rise, with 9 out of 10 of the stolen cars we recovered in 2019 taken this way.
“Thieves exploit keyless technology by using sophisticated equipment, which can hijack the car key’s signal from inside an owner’s home and remotely fool the system into unlocking the doors and start the engine. This is commonly known as a relay attack.”
Analysis of Trackers data revealed the luxurious Range Rover Sport was the vehicle most commonly stolen by thieves.
The vehicle was only the eighth most popular car taken by criminals in 2018 but rose to the top of the leaderboard in 2019.
The BMW X5 was revealed as the second most popular vehicle stolen by keyless car criminals followed by the Mercedes Benz C Class.
The Range Rover Vogue was the fourth most popular car while their Autobiography model came in ninth.
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Jaguar Land Rover’s Discovery also made the list of vehicles commonly stolen alongside the BMW X6 and the BMW 3 Series.
Mercedes E Class made it onto the top 10 list for the second year running as the vehicle fell from the fourth most popular in 2018.
According to Tracker, stolen premium vehicles are often sent abroad to places such as Eastern Europe and North Africa.
The group revealed they recovered a £150,000 Range Rover SV Autobiography in 2019 but warned less valuable road cars are also a target for thieves,
The least expensive car was a VW Polo valued at £575 showing criminals will target any vehicle regardless of its overall value.
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Clive Wain said: “Thanks to our long-standing working relationship with all UK police forces, 54 suspected thieves were arrested in connection with the vehicles we recovered last year.
“In addition to the vehicles recovered by Tracker, 67 other non-Tracker fitted stolen vehicles were also found as a result,”
Previous analysis from WhatCar? found some vehicles could be broken into and stolen in less than ten seconds, highlighting the dangers involved.
Research from DirectLine found a luxury car was stolen every 38 minutes with premium cars accounting for nearly two-fifths of all reported car thefts.
The data revealed 65 percent of cars stolen across the country are taken from an owner’s home, with the figure rising to 71 percent for premium vehicles.
Road users are advised to take extra precautions and make sure their car is always stored in a safe area to avoid being caught out.
Clive Wain added: “To help prevent car owners falling victim to keyless car theft, traditional visual deterrents, such as crook locks and wheel clamps can help deter thieves and are a good investment to make.
“However, in the event of a car being stolen, vehicle tracking technology will not only help police close the net on thieves but see a stolen vehicle returned to its rightful owner.”
Top 10 most commonly stolen cars
- Range Rover Sport
- BMW X5
- Mercedes Benz C Class
- Range Rover Vogue
- Land Rover Discovery
- BMW X6
- Range Rover Evoque
- BMW 3 Series
- Range Rovr Autobiography
- Mercedes E Class
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