This article was originally published by Fleet News.
The Range Rover Sport continues to be the most stolen vehicle in the UK, according to the latest data from Tracker.
Land Rover models have dominated Tracker’s top 10 most stolen and recovered models over the past five years with the Range Rover Sport consistently appearing in the top five.
The data also revealed an increase in the number of cars stolen without the keys. Between January and July, 96% of cars recovered by Tracker were stolen without the keys, compared to 92% during the same period last year.
Clive Wain, head of Police Liaison for Tracker, said: “Keyless car thefts are continuing to rise at an alarming rate, as criminal groups reverse-engineer the latest manufacturer security tech to steal valuable vehicles quickly and discreetly.
“It took just 80 seconds to steal a £120,000 bespoke Range Rover that was fitted with one of our tracking devices from a supermarket carpark in Walthamstow, London. It was broad daylight, and not one person noticed what the thieves were doing.
“The car was recovered within 24 hours and it appeared that the thieves had searched for tracking devices before leaving the vehicle parked unoccupied to see if the police would track its whereabouts. Because the Tracker device was professionally installed, the thieves were unable to find it, leaving the police to quickly track its location.”
The most recent Home Office figures reveal that vehicle theft has rocketed by 50% over the last five years, with experts saying many cars are being stolen using keyless technology. The Government claims that 56,000 vehicles are stolen in the UK each year, though experts say the true figure could be more like 100,000.
Wain added: “Stealing cars is a very lucrative business which is why there is a significant amount of organised criminal activity in this market. These gangs steal to order for four broad reasons: for export, often to Eastern Europe, for their identity to be changed and the vehicle sold on within the UK; for parts, which is a growing problem and where the vehicle is stripped down in a so-called ‘chop shop’; and to be used in further crimes.”
Tracker data reveals the top targets for vehicle thefts in 2019 have remained firm targets for thieves in 2020, despite many vehicles being parked at home during lockdown. This demonstrates location is not a barrier to determined criminals.
Most popular cars stolen and recovered by Tracker in 2020:
1. Range Rover Sport
2. BMW X5
3. Range Rover Vogue and Land Rover Discovery
4. Range Rover Autobiography
5. Mercedes-Benz C Class