Europe and the UK

News items from Europe and the UK

Is your car one of the most nicked? Motor thefts rose by a third last year

UK: Is your car one of the most nicked? Motor thefts rose by a third last year, DVLA data shows:  Some 74,769 vehicles were reported stolen to the DVLA in 2020, figures show  Thieves pinched an average of 205 vehicles per day last year - and ONS stats suggest that almost three quarters are never returned to owners We reveal the top 15 vehicles that were most prominently targeted by criminals Experts at Thatcham Research…

Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Range Rover Reading car thief stole more than £1 million’s worth of vehicles

A Reading man who took part in a major car theft operation around the country has been jailed for more than four years. Darius Lukauskas and Juozas Baltors stole cars before having them delivered to a 'chop-shop' in Peterborough where they were taken apart and shipped out of the country. They stole vehicles from areas of Berkshire including Bracknell, Twyford, Wokingham, Shinfield, Wokingham and Maidenhead The pair used sophisticated…

Keyless car theft surge prompts police warning

We are issuing a warning to all owners of vehicles which can be unlocked and started by using a keyless fob. The warning comes after a significant increase in this type of theft, especially among Mercedes owners, as the force has recorded 15 Mercedes thefts in past eight weeks. Keyless car theft happens when an offender uses a special device to capture the signal from a fob located inside a house, and transmits it to someone else near the…

Now Car Thieves Are Using Wildlife Cameras

Car theft has absolutely skyrocketed throughout 2020, fueled in part by the COVID-19 shutdowns. We’ve seen criminals not only get more aggressive about stealing cars from dealerships and private citizens, but also turn to more creative measures. Now a report out of the UK details out how thieves are using wildlife cameras to stalk and steal classic cars. The scheme often starts with spotters checking out cars at local shows. When they…

4 in 5 vehicle-related thefts happen at night

Vehicle-related thefts increase by 10 percent during longer nights. That’s according to UK car insurance theft claims data for 2019. The report found that around 80 percent of vehicle-related thefts happen during the hours of darkness. Alarmingly, 79 percent of vehicle-related thefts occur at the driver’s home, with vehicles parked on the street (39 percent) most at risk. Despite this, around a quarter (23 percent) of drivers…

Blitz on car theft gangs sees 100s arrested and 1,000+ stolen cars recovered

An operation targeting car theft gangs has netted almost 2,500 suspects this year and led to the recovery of more than 1,000 stolen vehicles. The offensive − named Operation Cantil − uses intelligence-led patrol strategies to ensure officers are in the right place at the right time to target crooks hunting high-value cars. Traffic units work through the night alongside specialist units, including dog teams, to target areas that…

UK cities where catalytic converter theft is most common

The theft of catalytic converters continues to rise across the UK, with the number of devices being stolen increasing six-fold in the last year alone, according to a new study by Compare The Market. With prices of precious metals on the up, criminals are taking more catalytic converters in order to get these materials. Hybrid cars have been a particular focus for criminals, with their lower emissions resulting in less-corroded metals in the…

How car thieves are changing their tactics during the pandemic

HOUSTON – Before the pandemic, a motor vehicle theft occurred about every seven minutes in Texas. Lt. Tommy Hansen, the chair of the Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority, said it is now closer to every six minutes. “We’re just seeing a massive increase in the numbers of thefts,” Hansen said. “We’ve got anywhere from 10% to almost 40% increases in certain areas of the state of Texas.” Read more…

Gangs launching ‘rollover raids’ on 50mph lorries to steal PS5s and cigarettes

Criminal gangs are carrying out daredevil raids on lorries at speeds of up to 50mph - with harnessed crooks clambering out of sunroofs, mounting bonnets and forcing open rear doors. The acrobatic assaults, known as rollovers, had been carried out 27 times to September, with their popularity likely ramping up in the run up to Christmas. High-value goods like PlayStation 5s, TVs and Apple products as well as consignments of booze, cosmetics and…