The BMW X5 is the most frequently stolen and recovered vehicle in the UK. That’s according to data published by car security and vehicle tracking systems company Tracker.
The figures published on its website reveal the German-built 4×4 managed to retain its dubious honour, first gained in 2011, as the thief’s number one choice. The Range Rover Vogue/Range Rover Sport and the BMW M3 came in second and third place, respectively.
The BMW X5 is an ever-present in this list but criminal tastes have changed over the years. In 2011, the X5 was joined by the BMW 1 Series and 3 Series in the top three most stolen cars, while the Range Rover was in seventh place. Now the 1 Series is no longer in the top 10, while the 3 Series dropped to joint fourth place with the Audi RS4.
Given the brand prestige, it’s not surprising a number of Mercedes models were heavily targeted. The Mercedes SLK took fifth position, the SLK and ML took joint sixth and joint seventh went to the CLS and E-Class.
“It’s clear from our latest figures that thieves continue to target prestige models with the most expensive car recovered being worth £70,000,” Police Liaison Officer for Tracker Stuart Chapman noted. “The average value of the cars we recovered in 2012 was just £25,500 and a number were below £5,000, confirming that you don’t have to own a luxury car to be at risk from thieves looking to make a fast profit.”
Tracker said it recovered and returned more than £12.5 million in stolen vehicles to owners in 2012.
Tracker is a transmitter hidden in a number of places on a vehicle that allows it to be tracked, so when it goes walkies the police can locate it ─ even if the car is shipped abroad. That is, unless you car pride and joy has been broken down for parts or destroyed by brainless vandals.
The cheapest Tracker system starts from £249.
Research by RetainaGroup in 2012 found the chance of getting your stolen car back was less than 50 per cent, due to a reduction in police recovery teams and the high profits from illegally exporting cars to countries where demand is high.