The amount of cars stolen on an annual basis has risen 9% in 2015 despite the fact that over the past
twenty years car theft has been on a downward trajectory. One of the most surprising cars on the
list among all of the luxury marques stolen by organised crime members is the modest Ford Escort
even though production stopped about fifteen years ago.
Many luxury cars are stolen for the overseas market with the main culprits being the Land Rover
Defender, Range Rover and the most stolen car being the Audi S3. It’s no wonder that car insurance
for these manufacturers is high.
Due to the sheer demand many vehicles are now stolen to order to then distribute around the
world. These aren’t your typical street thugs with an iron bar either. Gangs use state of the art
equipment to reverse engineer the car’s security systems. In 2015 there was an unprecedented
surge in thefts of the Land Rover Defender, probably due on part its production run ended at the
beginning of this year after a record 5o plus years. What is also rare in modern produced vehicles is
that the Defender is actually gaining in value. Which again makes them more attractive for criminals.
Security is paramount in this day and age as many thieves gain entry to your vehicle via keyless entry
by hacking the vehicle’s electronic system and then transferring the information from the car onto a
blank key which means they can be away with the car in seconds.
The police recommend the following measures to protect your car against theft:
• Park your vehicle in an open, well-lit and secure area where possible. Always park in a
garage if you have one, or in view of CCTV cameras.
• Ensure that all windows, the sunroof and boot are shut and locked when leaving your vehicle
unattended, no matter how briefly.
• Fit an alarm or immobiliser.
• Use a steering wheel lock.
• Consider having an on-board diagnostics lock fitted to the vehicle.