Car thieves attacked more often in 2022. Last year, 5,973 cars were reported stolen, 11 percent more than a year earlier. Surprisingly, Toyota is the most stolen car brand for the first time in many years.
About 45 percent of all stolen vehicles are recovered, according to the latest statistics from the National Vehicle Crime Information and Expertise Center (LIV). “In times of corona, criminals did something different, but now it’s business as usual,” explains André Bouwman of LIV the increase in the number of car thefts.
For many years, the Volkswagen Golf was the most stolen car, but in 2022, the most Toyota Rav 4 cars were stolen with 465 units.
After Rav 4 and Golf, Volkswagen Polo, Toyota Auris and Fiat 500 are the most stolen. With the Toyota Auris, the car is often stolen for parts, LIV reports. The car was often available without a catalytic converter. “Car thieves know that there is a very good catalyst underneath, containing precious minerals.”
A thief rarely goes to a German car brand
Toyota as a brand is also popular with car thieves. With 1,036 stolen vehicles, Volkswagen has also been dethroned there. “It’s a simple question of supply and demand,” says Bouwman. “Cars from Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW have been particularly popular with thieves, with more Asian models being stolen.”
According to LIV, cars from three to five years old are still the most wanted, but cars twenty years old and older have also recently appeared in the theft statistics (18 percent). “When it comes to luxury models, like the Porsche 911, they are worth a lot of money and are easy to trade in. And those older models sometimes don’t have enough bells and whistles,” says Bouwman.
The number of stolen cars is still lower than before the corona crisis. In 2019, for example, more than seven thousand cars were stolen.