Crime Trends

Easing Of Restrictions Brings Rising Vehicle Theft

Tracker data reveals a threefold rise in vehicles stolen and recovered by mid-year with Range Rover remaining the thieves’ top target

Analysis of data from stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert, Tracker, reveals an increase in vehicle thefts as the UK stepped out of lockdown during the first half of the year. By the end of June, the volume of theft activity had increased by over 32% compared to the end January, with Range Rover and Land Rover models remaining the top choice amongst criminals.

Over half of vehicles recovered by Tracker were 4x4s

Tracker recovered over £4.2 million-worth of stolen vehicles in total during January to June, of which 4x4s accounted for £2.6 million. The highest value car stolen and recovered during this period was a Range Rover Sport worth £94,000 in May, with Range Rover and Land Rover models accounting for 29% of the total stolen vehicles recovered by Tracker in the six months.

“Our latest figures show that – just like in 2020 – as prolonged periods of lockdown eased, theft of vehicles increased.  May was a particularly busy month for criminals who made up for lost time.  The total value of vehicles we recovered in May was almost three times higher than in January, with an average vehicle value of more than £31,000, compared to just £13,000 in the first month of the year.”  

Keyless cars also continue to be frequently targeted by criminals. Tracker’s latest data reports that 92% of the stolen cars it recovered January to June were taken by tech-savvy thieves compromising the signal from the vehicle’s key fob. Added to this, insurers have revealed that keyless vehicles account for almost half of all reported ‘theft of vehicle’ claims1  The exploitation of keyless technology by criminals has become such a concern for police that the UK’s top police officer responsible for investigating vehicle crime, just recently issued a nationwide warning2 encouraging owners to better protect their vehicles and insurance premiums.

Protecting your vehicle

Clive Wain continued: “Now that almost all restrictions have formally lifted, all car owners need to be aware of the risk and take steps to protect their vehicles, beyond relying on a factory-fitted alarm.  Visible physical deterrents that help dissuade many would-be criminals include alarm systems, wheel clamps and steering locks.  Those with keyless entry vehicles also need to safeguard their key fob, for example, keeping them inside a metal container that blocks the key’s signal so it cannot be extended to remotely unlock and start the vehicle.

“Unfortunately, even with multi-layers of protection against theft in place, the most experienced thieves and organised criminal gangs will take measures to bypass barriers if the potential payoff is worthwhile. Once a vehicle is stolen, a Tracker device is the best possible way to help the Police quickly locate and recover it before it is broken down for parts or sold on.”

Tracker is the only SVR provider offering vehicle tracking systems that are supported nationwide by UK police forces. Tracker’s SVR solutions work like an electronic homing device. A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t know it’s there. The combination of VHF with GPS/GSM technology, unique to Tracker, makes its units resistant to jamming, confirming Tracker as a superior security defence against determined thieves.


Most Stolen and Recovered Models by Tracker

Top 5 Most Stolen and Recovered Models

by Tracker - Jan to June 2021


 Range Rover Sport


 Range Rover Autobiography


 Land Rover Discovery & BMW X5


 Range Rover Evoque


 Range Rover Vogue & BMW X6