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Keyless theft up 96% in six months

By / 8 months ago / Latest News / No Comments

Keyless car thefts are continuing to rise at an alarming rate, jumping 96% in the first six months of 2020.

Keyless theft

Keyless car theft jumped 96% in the first six months of 2020

The figures from Tracker come on the back of a 92% rise between January and July last year; the stolen vehicle recovery expert warns that criminal groups are becoming more specialist at reverse-engineering the latest manufacturer security tech to steal valuable vehicles quickly and discreetly.

The most recent Home Office figures reveal that vehicle theft has rocketed by 50% over the last five years, with experts saying many cars are being stolen using keyless technology. The Government claims that 56,000 vehicles are stolen in the UK each year, though experts say the true figure could be more like 100,000.

Clive Wain, head of police liaison for Tracker, said: “Stealing cars is a very lucrative business which is why there is a significant amount of organised criminal activity in this market. These gangs steal to order for four broad reasons: for export, often to Eastern Europe, for their identity to be changed and the vehicle sold on within the UK; for parts, which is a growing problem and where the vehicle is stripped down in a so-called ‘chop shop’; and to be used in further crimes.”

The Range Rover Sport continues to be the number one favourite with car thieves. Range Rover models have dominated Tracker’s top 10 most stolen and recovered models over the past five years with the Range Rover Sport consistently appearing in the top five.

Wain continued: “It took just 80 seconds to steal a £120,000 bespoke Range Rover that was fitted with one of our tracking devices from a supermarket carpark in Walthamstow, London. It was broad daylight, and not one person noticed what the thieves were doing.

“The car was recovered within 24 hours and it appeared that the thieves had searched for tracking devices before leaving the vehicle parked unoccupied to see if the police would track its whereabouts. Because the Tracker device was professionally installed, the thieves were unable to find it, leaving the police to quickly track its location.”


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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006.