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Thieves Favourites - Audi, BMW & Mercedes

By raccars Published

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Tracker, the vehicle recovery agency, has released a list of 2012's top ten most stolen and recovered cars and few will be surprised to see German premium band vehicles suffering, particularly BMWs. In fact the top spots in 2011's list looked pretty similar. It is bad news for owners of BMW X5s, which remains Tracker's most stolen car in Britain for the second year running.

In 2011 the three first places were all taken by BMWs, but in 2012 Range Rovers gained popularity and last year's second most stolen car, the BMW 1 Series, fell completely out of favour with car thieves and off the list altogether.

While premium brands are obviously the most at risk, according to Tracker's Police Liaison Department, the average value of cars recovered was a relatively modest £25,500, while a significant number of sub-£5,000 models were also on thieves' radars.

The absence of the traditional boy racer magnets, the hot hatches and Japanese imports, is probably due to that particular owner demographic being less likely to fit tracking devices rather than a sudden lack of desirability to thieves.

In joint eighth position were the Mercedes-Benz CLS and E-Class, both newcomers to the list and executive-style cars that are designed for comfort and luxury rather than out and out performance, although AMG versions are pretty hot.

In joint seventh are the BMWs X6 and M5, also newcomers and both large, sporty cars. The Mercedes-Benz ML luxury 4x4 comes in sixth, followed by the sexier SLK roadster at fifth.

The joint fourth most stolen car in 2012 was the high performance Audi RS4 and the more sedate versions of the BMW 3 Series, which was at number three in the previous year's list and was in 2012 out-stolen by 2011's number six, the BMW M3 in third place.

Large, luxury off-roaders consolidate their domination of the list in the top two spots, with 2011's seventh most stolen car taking the number two spot in 2012, the Range Rover Vogue/Sport variants and the BMW X5 once again holding the dubious honour of Britain's most stolen car.

Theft data from insurance companies has often suggested black Audis are the prime target for thieves, while the current most popular way for toerags to get into these luxury vehicles is to break into houses to get hold of the cars' keys, to circumvent sophisticated anti-theft technology.

The luxury vehicles are attractive for the profit that can be made from breaking them up and selling the parts rather than selling on the car itself, or for shipping overseas to markets such as Africa.

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