As the city remains the top ‘Stolen and Recovered’ hot spot in the UK, keyless car theft rises to an all-time high in 2021 reports Tracker
The capital of the UK, London, once again claims the top spot where cars were most frequently stolen and recovered in 2021 by stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert, Tracker Network UK Limited. The West Midlands, Manchester, Essex and Kent also hold their places, completing the top five regions for vehicle theft and recovery.
With manufacturers increasingly favouring keyless car entry systems, it’s concerning to see that keyless theft has risen to an all-time high; 94% of all vehicles recovered by Tracker in 2021 were stolen without the thief having possession of the keys.
Northern territories like South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Lancashire and Merseyside also proved popular regions for criminals wanting to steal cars. However, the home county of Surrey with a close proximity to London, also appears in the top 10.
Four-wheeled drive vehicles were the most popular choice of cars targeted by thieves in the top five regions, apart from Manchester. When analysing Tracker’s data of the top five types of vehicles stolen in each region, criminals in Manchester clearly have a desire for sportier models such as the Audi A4 Sport Cabriolet and Jaguar XF.
Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison for Tracker, commented: “The five regions topping our most stolen and recovered league table are the largest populated counties in the country, which accounts for their high level of theft activity. In addition, London provides some great corridor routes through Kent and Essex to key shipping ports where criminals load desirable cars into containers to be shipped to Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
“2021 continued to see the fall out of Covid-19 restrictions, with January and February proving quieter months for criminals stealing cars due to the lockdown. However, as the year went on, we saw a significant rise in cars being stolen. This was made worse by the shortage in car spare parts worldwide, as criminals quickly recognised how lucrative it was to steal cars specifically for their parts. As a result, there was an increase in ‘chop shops’ being set up across the UK. These buildings are equipped to strip down stolen vehicles for their expensive parts which are then sold on very lucratively.
“The threat of criminals stealing cars in 2022 is just as prevalent. We urge drivers to combine traditional visual deterrents such as crook locks and wheel clamps to frighten off criminals, with more modern solutions such as CCTV and immobilisers to protect their car. However, in the event of a theft, stolen vehicle tracking technology will significantly help police quickly close the net on thieves and return the vehicle to its rightful owner. Last year alone, we helped recover over £9 million worth of stolen vehicles.”