County takes second place in the UK for most stolen and recovered cars reveals Tracker
West Midlands once again claims second place in Tracker’s ‘Most Stolen Vehicle Recoveries (SVR) by County’ league table, after Greater London. According to data by SVR expert, Tracker Network UK Limited thieves from the region are bucking the national trend by targeting the BMW 5 Series – a make and model that doesn’t feature in the UK’s overall 2022 league table.
However, both the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Autobiography add to the top three most commonly stolen and recovered in the area. Both are favourites with thieves across the country. Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Essex, complete the top five regions for vehicle theft and recovery.
Top 5 Counties Reporting Stolen Vehicle Recoveries in 2022
- West Midlands
- Greater Manchester
- West Yorkshire
Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison for Tracker, commented: “A shortfall in vehicle parts supply has hit the service, maintenance and repair sector, creating another lucrative opportunity for professional car thieves. 2022 saw a U.K. boom in ‘chop-shops' – buildings containing stolen vehicles to be stripped down for their expensive parts to be sold on, on the black market - and the West Midlands have seen its fair share of ‘chop shops’.
West Midlands Police Deputy Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine recently admitted that car crime had not come down as they had hoped, following the diverting of extra manpower towards the issue*. She said global demand for parts, as well as the rise in use of keyless technology, was driving offending and making their job harder. She commented “We would have hoped our real focus on the offenders, on executing warrants, on chop shops, on handlers, all that activity, would have seen a decrease, because it traditionally does, and we just haven't seen that.”
Echoing the concerns of Deputy Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine, Clive Wain continues, “Chop shops are proving a challenging area. In the first two months of this year, 11 chop shops have been uncovered in the U.K. by the police as a result of us locating stolen vehicles belonging to our customers being hidden there. This is a significant increase compared to 2022 when a total of 32 illegal chop shops were uncovered. In addition to aiding police in uncovering chop shops, the recovery of stolen vehicles with Tracker devices fitted also resulted in the police uncovering 100s of non-Tracker fitted vehicles and seizing valuable vehicle parts worth millions of pounds.”
Keyless car theft and ‘relay attack’ continues to challenge manufacturers, as Tracker’s latest data confirms. The level of vehicle theft carried out through this method has significantly increased over the years. In 2017, 80% of all vehicles stolen and recovered were stolen without using the owner’s keys, but stood at 93% in 2022.
Tracker’s detection units are fitted in over 2000 police patrol vehicles and throughout the national fleet of Police helicopters that comprise the National Police Air Service (NPAS). Working 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 Tracker’s unique VHF with GPS/GSM technology means its SVR devices are a superior security defence against the most determined thieves.