End of lockdown brought spike in car theft, with these high-end models most targeted

Thefts up by almost a third, with crooks targeting keyless entry vulnerabilities

The end of lockdown restrictions around the UK brought a sharp increase in car thefts, according to new data from a leading vehicle recovery firm.

Tracker, which provides aftermarket vehicle tracing technology reported that it had seen a 32 per cent jump in theft activity between January and June this year as lockdown ended.

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May was the worst month, with three times as many thefts as in January.

The firm said it had recovered vehicles worth more than £4.2 million in the first half of 2021, with SUVs and 4x4s accounting for more than half of that.

It also revealed that high-end models from Land Rover were the most commonly stolen and recovered vehicles fitted with its devices.

A Range Rover Sport was the most expensive stolen vehicle tracked down by its teams, valued at £94,000, and models from Land Rover and Range Rover accounted for 29 per cent of all stolen vehicles during the first six months of 2021.

Clive Wain, head of police liaison at Tracker, said: “Now that almost all restrictions have formally been lifted, all car owners need to be aware of the risk and take steps to protect their vehicles, beyond relying on a factory-fitted alarm.

“Visible physical deterrents that help dissuade many would-be criminals include alarm systems, wheel clamps and steering locks.”

The data from Tracker revealed that 92 per cent of cars targeted featured keyless entry systems which can be bypassed by commonly available technology.

Mr Wain added: “Those with keyless entry vehicles also need to safeguard their key fob, for example, keeping them inside a metal container that blocks the key’s signal so it cannot be extended to remotely unlock and start the vehicle.”