Lifting restrictions opens opportunities for criminals to make up lost time, warns Tracker
The first nationwide lockdown cut crime rates across the UK, including vehicle theft numbers. However, data from stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert Tracker showed that theft rates rose rapidly when restrictions eased in the summer, as thieves played car crime catch up. As the UK prepares to ease out of lockdown again, Tracker urges drivers to take extra precautions to protect their vehicles in anticipation of a surge in thefts.
Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker, commented: “Although reports[i] confirm vehicle thefts fell overall by almost a third in 2020, our July stolen recovery figures were up 50% compared to April and May. Whilst all motorists across the UK are at risk, our stolen and recovered theft data for last year reported that London had the highest number of thefts, followed by the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Essex, so car owners living in these areas particularly need to be on their guard as we move out of lockdown in the coming months.”
The three most commonly stolen and recovered vehicles reported by Tracker in 2020 were all Range Rover models - #1 the Sport, #2 the Vogue and #3 the Autobiography. The Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Defender also make the top ten. These six models alone account for 37% of all stolen cars recovered by Tracker in 2020.
Clive Wain continued: “High value vehicles such as prestige 4x4s are always hot targets for thieves, but lower value used cars and vans are also at risk. We see vehicles stolen and stripped for valuable parts in chop shops or stolen to order to be shipped abroad to meet international demand. 93% of vehicles recovered by Tracker in 2020 were keyless thefts – when criminals exploit keyless technology to unlock and start vehicles, rather than having to steal the owner’s car keys to drive the vehicle away. Locking a car is not enough to protect it against experienced, professional criminals.
“We always encourage drivers to use traditional visual deterrents such as crook locks and wheel clamps to displace and deter criminals and 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.”
Tracker is the only SVR provider offering vehicle tracking systems that are supported nationwide by UK police forces. Tracker 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 GPS/GSM jamming, confirming Tracker as a superior security defence against determined thieves.
Tracker's Top 10 Most Stolen & Recovered Vehicles in 2020
Range Rover Sport
Range Rover Vogue
Range Rover Autobiography
Land Rover Discovery / BMW 3 Series
Range Rover Evoque
Mercedes-Benz C-Class AMG
BMW M3 / Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Land Rover Defender / Mercedes-Benz E-Class / BMW 6 Series
[i] Source: https://insurance-edge.net/2021/03/05/car-theft-dropped-31-during-first-2020-lockdown