In 2020, keyless theft rose to an all-time high. A shocking 93% of all recovered vehicles were stolen without the thief having possession of the keys according to analysis from stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert, Tracker. This represents a 26% increase in the past 5 years.
Thieves are exploiting keyless technology by hacking the signal emitted by the key itself, even while the key is in the user’s home. They use sophisticated equipment to remotely trick the system into unlocking the doors and starting the engine, commonly known as a ‘relay attack’.
Tracker also revealed that Range Rover and Land Rover models take 6 of the ten places in the 2020 list of its most commonly stolen and recovered vehicles.
The top three are all Range Rover models, Sport, Vogue, and Autobiography. The Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Evoque, and Land Rover Defender also make the top ten. These six models alone account for 37% of all stolen cars recovered by Tracker in 2020.
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, as has the BMW X5 which has slipped from second to fourth position in 2020.
“However, most premium 4x4 cars are hot targets, with car thieves stealing to order, often shipping them abroad or stripping them for parts in a chop shop to meet the growing demand for spare parts”.
Commenting on the dramatic rise in keyless car theft over recent years, Wain explained: “It is quick and easy for professional criminals who have the tools and experience.
“Cars are commonly taken from outside of the owners’ house, often discreetly and within minutes, meaning the theft often goes unnoticed for some time.
“We encourage drivers 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”.