Vehicle tracking company TRACKER reveal their most stolen cars of last year

Car theft is on the rise and has been for a few years now, most likely thanks to the introduction of digital technology that allows thieves to open and start cars with the push of a button. The days of lock-picking and window-smashing are gone, nowadays thieves can steal a car in under a minute in complete, stealthy silence with the only noise being the one coming from your car being driven away.

One of those techniques is known as relay theft and allows thieves to open and start cars without setting off any alarms at all. This technique takes advantage of two things; the first being push to start keyless ignition and the second being the fact that too many people leave their car keys right by the front door near their car! All they have to do is get the signal from the car keys and relay it to the car and trick it into thinking the keys are near enough to the car for it to start.

Top 10 Most Stolen Cars - BMW 3 Series 1

To no surprise, all of the cars on the “most stolen” list are luxury vehicles. Four of them are Mercedes models, three are BMW and the remaining are Range Rover and Land Rover. Although this is probably because they cost more, it’s also likely due to these stats coming straight from a tracking device company whose customer base is likely not a true reflection of UK car ownership. Most people that purchase tracking devices from TRACKER, one of the best tracking services available, are probably driving high-value cars such as the ones below.

Top Models Stolen & Recovered in 2018:

  1. BMW X5
  2. Mercedes-Benz C Class
  3. BMW 3 Series
  4. Mercedes-Benz E Class
  5. BMW 3 Series
  6. Range Rover Vogue
  7. Land Rover Discovery
  8. Range Rover Sport
  9. Mercedes-Benz S Class
  10. Mercedes-Benz GLE
Top 10 Most Stolen Cars - Range Rover Sport 2

The most stolen vehicles of 2017 were much the same. Mostly Mercedes, BMW and Range Rover with the addition of the VW Golf and Audi RS4.

Top Models Stolen & Recovered in 2017:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C Class
  2. BMW X5
  3. Range Rover Sport
  4. Mercedes-Benz E Class
  5. BMW 3 Series
  6. Land Rover Discovery
  7. Range Rover Autobiography
  8. BMW M3
  9. Volkswagen Golf
  10. Audi RS4

TRACKER revealed that 88% of stolen vehicles in 2018 were stolen without keys, thus supporting the theory that keyless ignition is making cars easier to pinch. In 2017, 80% of vehicles were stolen without keys and in 2016 that figure was just 66%, showing a significant increase in the past few years. Furthermore, all of the vehicles on the 2018 list of most-stolen vehicles featured keyless entry and ignition.

Top 10 Most Stolen Cars - car interior 3

Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at TRACKER, explains, “Organised criminal gangs make a living out of stealing to order or taking what they know will sell quickly, and it’s a thriving, albeit illegal, profession. What’s more, these people have highly sophisticated skills, continually adapting their techniques to counter technology introduced by manufacturers to safeguard vehicles.”

Top 10 Most Stolen Cars - London 4

A lot of the time, these cars are dismantled and sold for parts, other times they’re shipped abroad and sold. TRACKER have reported that the average cost of stolen cars in 2018 was around £20,000 and that London is always the most affected when it comes to vehicle theft. In 2017, TRACKER reported the top 10 vehicle theft hot-spots were as follows:

  1. London
  2. Essex
  3. Manchester/Greater Manchester
  4. West Midlands
  5. Kent
  6. West Yorkshire
  7. Surrey
  8. Cambridgeshire
  9. Sussex
  10. South Yorkshire/Nottinghamshire
Top 10 Most Stolen Cars - Mercedes-Benz GLE 5

As we’ve said before, make sure your keys are not by the front door, just feet away from your car and if you want to be extra safe, buy a signal-blocking faraday pouch to store them in! The more security the better, so feel free to buy a wheel lock as well.

Do you know anyone who owns one of the top 10 most stolen vehicles?

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