Fleet News

Spike in Range Rover thefts reported by Tracker

car thief looking through window of car.

There has been a spike in the theft of Range Rovers in the past three weeks, says stolen vehicle recovery expert, Tracker.

It says that more than 30% of all stolen vehicles it has recovered in March to date have been Range Rovers.

The news comes as police forces in London, Essex and Hertfordshire have reported making nine arrests as part of an ongoing case involving £1.5million worth of Range Rovers stolen by an organised crime group.

Police say that a ‘relay attack’ method was used to steal more than 70 valuable Range Rovers, which were then sold on to unsuspecting customers.

Tracker recently put the spotlight on thieves targeting Range Rover over and above any other make of vehicle, with the Sport, Vogue and Autobiography accounting for the three top spots of its 2020 Most Stolen and Recovered League table.

The Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Defender also make Tracker’s top ten, with these six models alone accounting for 37% of the total value of all stolen cars recovered by Tracker last year. 

Clive Wain, head of police liaison for Tracker, said: “Range Rover and other Land Rover models have always featured in our top ten most stolen and recovered league table in the last 10 years, but figures are rising sharply.

“Car thieves are largely stealing to order, often shipping them abroad or stripping them for parts in a chop shop to meet the growing demand for spare parts.

“We encourage owners to use traditional visual deterrents such as crook locks and wheel clamps to deter criminals and protect their car, however in the event of a theft, stolen vehicle tracking technology will significantly help police quickly close the net on thieves and return the vehicle to its rightful owner.”

In 2020, 93% of all vehicles stolen and recovered by Tracker were stolen without the owner’s keys.

Thieves use sophisticated equipment to exploit keyless technology by hijacking the car key’s signal and remotely fooling the system into unlocking the doors and starting the engine – otherwise known as a  relay attack.

Owners can protect their vehicles against relay attacks by keeping their keys away from doors and windows near the parked vehicle, preferably storing them inside a metal container or specially designed signal blocking pouch when not in use, to prevent thieves scanning and intercepting the fob’s signal, says Tracker.

Detective Constable Tom Jenkins said of the arrests: "For many months, we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to build evidence against the Organised Crime Group we believe to be responsible for the theft and fraudulent resale of at least 70 high-value vehicles to enable us to make our arrests.

“I hope this shows the community that we take this crime type very seriously, and we will do everything in our power to bring those responsible to justice."

TRACKER’S 2020 STOLEN VEHICLE RECOVERY DATA

 

2020 Top Ten Stolen Vehicles 

2019 Top Ten Stolen Vehicles 

1. Range Rover Sport 

1. Range Rover Sport 

2. Range Rover Vogue 

2. BMW X5 

3. Range Rover Autobiography 

3. Mercedes-Benz C Class 

4. BMW X5 

4. Range Rover Vogue 

5. Land Rover Discovery / BMW 3 Series 

5. Land Rover Discovery 

6. Mercedes-Benz C-Class 

6. BMW X6 

7. Range Rover Evoque 

7. Range Rover Evoque 

8. Mercedes-Benz C-Class AMG 

8. BMW 3 Series 

9. BMW M3 / Mercedes S-Class 

9. Range Rover Autobiography 

10. Land Rover Defender / Mercedes-Benz E-Class / BMW 6 Series 

10. Mercedes-Benz E-Class 

 

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Comments

  • Gordy - 26/03/2021 13:23

    Insurance companies could play a part in reducing these crimes by insisting on the use of e.g. a Stoplock Professional. At £39.99 in Aldi stores recently, it takes 10 seconds to fit and prevents this type of theft. It’s all about deterrent and effort on the part of the car user, really. An OBD cage is also a good idea but the visual deterrent of the Stoplock may persuade the thieves to move onto the car which hasn’t bothered to fit the Stoplock. 93% of vehicles stolen without the owners keys. Perhaps the insurance companies could give out Stoplock’s to “Land Rover group” car owners to save us all some money. Perhaps also Land Rover could improve their keys, like Ford, so they don’t work after they’ve stopped moving (at home) to make this relay theft a thing of the past. Prevention is better (and much cheaper) than cure.

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