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Auto Shows Land Rover and Porsche drivers, watch out! - Motor vehicle thefts 2018

13:40  24 september  2019
13:40  24 september  2019 Source:   auto-motor-und-sport.de

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According to official statistics from the Federal Criminal Police Office, motor vehicle thefts continue to decline. But other crimes related to automobiles are increasing, for example embezzlement and counterfeiting of vehicle documents.

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Fewer and fewer cars are stolen in Germany. This shows the official statistics of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). For 2018, it shows 16,613 "permanently lost passenger cars" (cars that were reported stolen in the course of the year and did not show up again until the turn of the year). The previous year there were 19,026 cars, which corresponds to a decrease of 12.7 percent. This was also the case with the “total wanted listings, from 36,580 to 33,508 (minus 8.4 percent). This confirms a trend because the numbers have been declining for several years, if not as strongly as this time.

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Motor vehicle theft (also called car theft and, in the United States, grand theft auto) is the criminal act of stealing or attempting to steal a motor vehicle . Nationwide in the United States in 2012, there were an estimated 721,053 motor vehicle thefts

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Within this number, however, the BKA also recorded an increase in car misappropriation. This value has risen continuously over the past five years, namely from 1,504 cases in 2014 to 1,944 in the past year. Compared to 2017, a full 7.5 percent more such offenses were recorded in 2018. The share of misappropriations in the total number of stolen cars also increased, from 9.5 percent in 2017 to 11.7 percent in 2018. Leased or financed cars were often not lawfully returned. Rental cars, on the other hand, are embezzled less often than in previous years.

A well-known phenomenon: car thieves favor the models of German manufacturers. The VW, BMW, Audi and Mercedes brands alone account for 56.4 percent of all wanted listings. But this value is also declining; in the previous year it was 61.8 percent. VW is far ahead, BMW and Audi swap places on the podium - a consequence of the enormous decline in the premium brand of the VW group. Models from foreign brands are stolen much less frequently. Here, however, the BKA saw an increase in Mazda, Ford, Toyota and Renault. What all these manufacturers have in common: The thieves are primarily targeting SUVs.

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Measured by their distribution, however, other manufacturers are ahead, as the so-called exposure figures show. Based on 100,000 cars of the respective brand in the total vehicle inventory, a particularly large number of Land Rover models were stolen. 192 cars means an increase of around five percent compared to 2017. Porsche follows in second place with a load factor that has dropped from 139 to 130. Mazda is in third place. The number of Japanese climbed from 98 to 120 and thus by 22 percent.

In twelve out of 16 federal states, fewer cars were stolen in 2018 than in the previous year. Also in Berlin, where 17.5 percent fewer permanently lost cars were registered than in 2017. The consequence: The city-state is no longer the number one, but was overtaken by North Rhine-Westphalia, even though 8.0 percent fewer cars were stolen than the year before. Hesse (minus 28.4 percent), Saxony (minus 26.1 percent) and Schleswig-Holstein (minus 22.6 percent) recorded particularly large declines. Meanwhile, the BKA recorded an increase in Lower Saxony (plus 14.9 percent), Saarland (plus 10.6 percent), Baden-Württemberg (plus 6.0 percent) and Bavaria (plus 2.5 percent). Comparing the exposure figures, the eastern federal states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt are still affected by car thefts to an above-average extent. The explanation according to the BKA: "This circumstance can be attributed in particular to the fact that fast transport from there to the sales markets in Eastern Europe is possible."

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Eastern Europe remains the main target of car thieves

The BKA statistics provide further interesting insights. For example, that hardly any electric cars are stolen. And if so, it's Tesla's; only one Renault Zoe joins the ten stolen US Stromers. Another phenomenon: While the number of stolen trucks is falling sharply (by 22.6 percent from 2018 to 2017), more and more vans are being stolen. Fiat Ducato, Ford Transit, Citroën Jumper and Co. are becoming increasingly popular with car thieves. But they are particularly targeting the Mercedes Sprinter of the 906 series: 333 instead of 273 stolen vehicles means an increase of 22 percent.

The BKA continues to observe a trend: the stolen cars are not sold on completely, but are broken down into their individual parts abroad and thus made money. The perpetrators are particularly interested in airbags, multifunction steering wheels and navigation devices, but motors, transmissions, batteries and body parts are also popular. The authority names Lithuania as the leading sales market for illegal spare parts. In addition, Poland remains the main destination for cars stolen in Germany; Eastern European countries mostly serve as so-called transit states. Countries located in Central Asia such as Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are also gaining in importance, as are countries in the Middle East or in North and West Africa and Southeast Asia.

The BKA also registers an increase in so-called vehicle duplicates. The trick: For cars whose disappearance has been displayed, the identification features (e.g. the VIN) are initially falsified based on a real car. Subsequently, registration is carried out using foreign documents, with counterfeit vehicle documents from various European countries often being presented to the German registration authorities. After the cars have been regularly registered here, they are resold and thus enter the regular economic cycle.

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