Range Rover dominates list of most stolen and recovered cars of 2020

Published 17 February 2021

Range Rover and Land Rover take six of the ten places in the most stolen and recovered cars in 2020, according to the latest data from the stolen vehicle recovery expert Tracker.

The three top spots in the table are variations of Range Rover, with the Range Rover Sport taking top sport - while the Vogue and the Autobiography took second and third place respectively. The Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Defender also make the top ten.

>>> What is keyless theft and how can you prevent it?

With luxury car brands - BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover - making up all ten places in the list, it can be deduced that thieves are after high-priced models.

In fact, Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison for Tracker, commented: “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.”

Analysis of how criminals stole cars in 2020 reveals that keyless theft has risen to an all-time high, with 93 per cent of all recovered vehicles having been stolen without the thief having possession of the keys. This has risen slightly from 92 per cent in 2019 but represents a 26 per cent increase in the last five years.

Police -1

Thieves use sophisticated equipment to exploit keyless technology by hijacking the car key’s signal, typically from the security of the owner’s home, and remotely fooling the system into unlocking the doors and starting the engine. This is commonly known as a “relay attack”.

Adding to owners’ security woes, in 2020 new car production ground to a halt in response to Covid-19. This caused significant delays to the supply chain and made Tracker’s top ten most stolen and recovered vehicles all the more desirable. Pent-up demand for both nearly new cars and manufacturer-approved parts increases values and boosts trade for criminals stealing to fill the gap.

Wain continues; “Keyless car theft has risen dramatically in recent years. 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.”

Tracker is the only SVR provider offering vehicle tracking systems that are supported nationwide by UK police forces. Tracker SVR solutions work like an electronic homing device. A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t even know it’s there. The combination of VHF with GPS/GSM technology, unique to Tracker, also makes its units resistant to GPS/GSM jamming.

Tracker's 10 most stolen and recovered vehicles:

2020 Tracker’s Top Ten Most Stolen & Recovered Vehicles

2019 Tracker’s Top Ten Most Stolen & Recovered Vehicles

1. Range Rover Sport

1. Range Rover Sport

2. Range Rover Vogue

2. BMW X5

3. Range Rover Autobiography

3. Mercedes-Benz C Class

4. BMW X5

4. Range Rover Vogue

5. Land Rover Discovery / BMW 3 Series

5. Land Rover Discovery

6. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

6. BMW X6

7. Range Rover Evoque

7. Range Rover Evoque

8. Mercedes-Benz C-Class AMG

8. BMW 3 Series

9. BMW M3 / Mercedes S-Class

9. Range Rover Autobiography

10. Land Rover Defender / Mercedes-Benz E-Class / BMW 6 Series

10. Mercedes E Class



Mr Nexus    on 18 February 2021

Mercifully, I can't afford one of these monstrosities, so never worry about car theft. Strange how no-one wants a 12 year old Skoda Octavia or a 5 year old Skoda Citigo, the dents and scratches come free.??????

   on 18 February 2021

Don't be smug. Even Morris Minors are being stolen!

Victor Ahiaba    on 18 February 2021

How the highly priced becomes the easily stolen, is something I don’t seem to understand. What is the high cost of purchase for? Entertainment?

999pez    on 18 February 2021

It really is scandalous that these vehicles are so easy to steal.
With modern technology it should be nigh on impossible to steal cars but instead the manufacturers have made it easier with poorly protected keyless entry.

Les Boris    on 19 February 2021

Is it their intrest to make them to hard to steal. If one gets stolen they then get to sell a replacement vehicle its almost a self propelling money wheel.

   on 19 February 2021

I completely fail to understand the reason why the 'keyless entry' option fitted to so many expensive new cars nowadays needs to continuously transmit a signal to the vehicle in order to function correctly ?

Imho, the neatest solution must surely be for all vehicle manufacturers to simply fit a small on/off 'disarm button' to each key fob, thereby instantly curing the problem in 'one fell swoop' and thwarting the threat of 'relay attack' by members of the criminal fraternity !

keith farmer    on 19 February 2021

I have a Mercedes GLE, about 3 years old, which comes with keyless entry and keyless start/stop.
I have removed the 'Start/stop' button from the 'ignition switch' receptacle, quite easily using a terminal screwdriver. The car cannot be started now without the key being inserted into the ignition switch. I am happy with this arrangement as theft would be highly unlikely now.
I believe that several other models of Mercedes can be altered similarly, and in my case the owners handbook describes the process.

Howard Buchanan    on 19 February 2021

It's very odd that in an article with the title, "What is keyless theft and how do you prevent it?", there is no mention of keeping all the keys, active and spare, for the potential target car in Faraday bags and/or steel boxes with close fitting lids. Do that and the signal cannot get out, nor can a relay signal get in. Instead we are told to fit traditional mechanical obstacles to theft and consider buying the very expensive Tracker system. There is more than enough property crime around already and it is in the interests of all of us that vehicle crime should be reduced by the widespread adoption of simple and cheap preventive measures- the very ones that this article unaccountably fails even to mention.

Edited by Avant on 24/02/2021 at 17:07

TQ    on 23 February 2021

I am sure you are not racist, and it was a slip of the fingers when you typed 'darkest Africa' . Odd how we say middle-England, mid-America but for Africa it's darkest, when what people mean is the interior of Africa. Long live Jozef Konrad. Besides, how do you know that vehicles get shipped to darkest Africa more than, say White-ist Europe ? Is there some data on this or is it an old Daily Mail tale ?

Edited by TQ on 23/02/2021 at 01:21

CaptainT    on 19 February 2021

I have an MB E Class Cabrio. Pressing the lock button on the key fob twice switches it off. Do this when the key is in the house presumably prevents it being detected. Does not help to stop detection in normal use outside in a car park, etc.

RafflesNH    on 19 February 2021

And yet according to a Which? report published in May 2020, Thatcham Research concluded that those very same brands have already implemented a 'Fix' using Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology to defeat these relay attacks. Most of the LR/RR 2020 model range, including those mentioned above, have already had the fix implemented, and this will apply to *all* models in the 2021 range. The keys also feature motion sensors which switch off the radio transmitter after a short period of time if left undisturbed.


So what gives?

AQ    on 19 February 2021

So, apparently, some of these high end vehicles end up in "chop shops" to supply replacement spare parts. I wonder what that is telling us about these vehicles (quite new I imagine) that so many spare parts are needed for their siblings already out there, seemingly in need of all these spare parts. Also, what is it telling us about the owners of these vehicles awaiting the spares, if they can afford to buy the vehicle, but cannot afford the normal price of the spares when needed (and quite frequently by the sounds of it). I wonder if any of these spares are finding their way into dealership workshops - and if they are, I wonder if the savings are passed on.

James Donoghue    on 21 February 2021

I wonder if the Range Rover’s are the most recovered stolen car is because they are one of the most unreliable cars, and they simply break down when stolen. Perhaps Range Rover could market there unreliability as a security feature ??

TQ    on 23 February 2021

well said....funny but quite true!

bryan austin    on 21 February 2021

It occurred to me why don't these high end cars follow Teslas example and fit as standard cameras that show practically 360 degrees to deter the thieves. The cost to the buyer of these cars would probably n
to too much compared to the price of the car and would give peace of mind to the owners.
I purchased a Skoda Citigo ev a couple of months ago, no dents or scratches yet, and a super little car it is. The range depends on the temperature but in the latest cold snap 125 miles and now about 145 and I would think 160 at the height of summer. So if the people who can afford the expensive cars were to use one like mine as a 2nd or 3rd car perhaps they could remove all that stress of worrying where their pride and joy, or which chop/shop it would end up in.

TQ    on 23 February 2021

I'm not so sure that this article is true, it smells of an advertising feature for some kind of tracker. Typical pattern: alarming headline, scare the punter and finally offer a solution.

But if it is true then those who own expensive cars should have the sense to know that they will be targeted. They can choose either not to buy desirable cars or pay extra for security devices. It's a fact of capitalism that people will be punished for making certain choices.

Kansiii23    on 24 February 2021

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