As Tracker, the stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert, celebrates its 25th anniversary, it takes a look at the changing face of car crime since the business entered the UK market in 1993. Back in the days when the most common car security tip was to ensure the keys were removed from the ignition and that all doors, windows and the sunroof was locked, it was unknown just how advanced technology would become.
The Rise In Keyless Car Theft
The most significant trend in car crime over the past 25 years has been the dramatic increase in the threat of keyless car theft and relay attacks. In the last 10 years alone, Tracker figures reveal that the number of cars stolen without using the owner’s keys has increased from 26% to 88%.
Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker, reflects on how thieves have adapted their techniques over the past 25 years and how vehicle technology has played a huge part in this.
“Today we see many prestige vehicles stolen to order by organised criminal groups and shipped abroad, predominantly to Eastern Europe and North Africa. Although lower end vehicles are targeted and stolen, this is more increasingly because of a new ‘industry’ specialising in dismantling stolen cars in hidden ‘chop shops’ and then selling parts via the web nationally and overseas."
“Whilst a lot has changed over the years with vehicle and theft technology, the underlying message is the same,” continues Clive Wain. “If a thief wants to steal a vehicle, they will find a way to do it. This is why it is more important than ever for car owners, especially new car buyers in September, to invest in a tracking device. Of course, a Tracker device won’t prevent your vehicle from being stolen, but if it is, it will significantly increase the chances of the vehicle being recovered quickly and returned by the police.”
Tracker over 25 years
- The first ever vehicle that Tracker successfully recovered was a Ford Cosworth.
- There have been 25,911 vehicle recoveries to date.
- Tracker has recovered a total of £545 million worth of stolen vehicles.
- The fastest recovery was a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG recovered in under 20 minutes.
- A total of 2,706 arrests have been made as a result of stolen Tracker fitted vehicles being recovered.