UK drivers issued urgent warning as crime soars to 'all-time high'

Drivers in the UK have been warned to watch out as a car crime has reached a historic high. New data reveals that keyless car crime has hit an all-time high, with drivers being alerted to the vehicles most likely to be targeted.

Tracker Network UK's research shows a significant increase in stolen vehicles recovered in April this year, with 110 recoveries compared to just 47 in April 2023. This represents the largest monthly haul in Tracker's history, with 2024 already shaping up to be a record-breaking year for the recovery company.

From January to April, a total of 352 vehicles have been recovered, totalling a value of £8.4million, including £2.7million worth of cars found in the last month alone.

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In comparison, 199 vehicles were recovered in the first four months of 2023, valued at just over £4.6million.

Tracker also reported 14 arrests, the discovery of seven so-called "chop shops", and the recovery of 21 other non-Tracker-fitted vehicles as a result of its activations.

Clive Wain, head of police liaison at Tracker, said: "Several factors are contributing to the continued rise in vehicle theft, including the easy exploitation of keyless car systems by criminals and continued demand for quality second-hand car parts."

"94 per cent of cars we recovered last year were stolen without the keys being present."

"And we saw a 72 per cent increase in the number of illegal chop shops we shut down in partnership with the police, due to our locating stolen cars in them that had Tracker devices fitted."

He also highlighted the alarming trend of "chop shops" flourishing, as crooks nick cars for their bits and then flog them overseas.

Essex, Greater London and Kent have emerged as hotbeds for these dodgy operations, with the baddies picking places close to major ports and transport links to easily ship off the swiped parts to spots like Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Tracker's latest figures reveal that the Toyota RAV4 is right up there as one of the most nicked and sought-after motors lately, with recoveries reported in London, Milton Keynes and Essex.

In a swift response by Tracker, a nicked RAV4 worth a hefty £38,000 was found in London within just two hours of being reported pinched, leading the Old Bill to nab six other motors that weren't fitted with Tracker, reports GB News.

Another RAV4, this one valued at £33,000, was tracked down in less than sixty minutes in Milton Keynes, which resulted in four other vehicles being located and five suspects getting collared.

Lexus motors are on the thieves' radar too, with a £12,500 RX model recovered in Enfield, an RX250H in Waltham Cross and a Lexus UX250H worth £26,000 rescued in Wembley.

The menace of keyless car theft has shot up recently, with villains using basic relay gizmos to half-inch posh cars without the owner clocking anything's amiss.