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The UK’s car theft hotspots revealed


London is the car theft capital of the UK according to new data released by stolen vehicle recovery experts Tracker.

Analysis of theft data for 2019 shows the UK capital is the region with the highest number of stolen and recovered vehicles, followed by its neighbouring county of Essex.

West Midlands, Manchester and West Yorkshire made up the top five.

Tracker says Essex has jumped to second place as Essex Police have been uncovering ‘chop shops’ where stolen vehicles are stripped for parts to be sold on.

Meanwhile, comparisons with UK Police Force data shows that the West Midlands has seen a 45 per cent increase in vehicle theft between 2016 and 2019. Meanwhile, Hertfordshire had seen a 50 per cent increase in thefts.

Clive Wain, head of police liaison at Tracker, said: “It is clear from both sets of data that thieves have stepped up activity in some regions over recent years.

“During this period of lockdown, it is even more important that car owners remain vigilant and do what they can to keep their car safe.

“Our analysis highlights some interesting manufacturer preferences by region, as 4x4s continue to dominate our top 10 most desirable makes and models that thieves are stealing.

“However, whilst it is common for car thieves to target premium marques, we should not underestimate the appetite for lower value cars.”

Tracker says BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover vehicles were the manufacturers of choice for criminals in the south-east of England, while the BMW X5 was the most stolen and recovered vehicle in West Yorkshire.

Furthermore, 92 per cent of the vehicles recovered by Tracker last year were from keyless thefts, up from 66 per cent the year before.