Japan's new Number One

Crime rates are rocketing and thieves are getting bolder, while the cars they steal are getting more expensive, more exclusive and more unusual.

The 'unusual' tag certainly seems to apply in Japan. Because Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches don't seem to be all that sought after – or may be it's because they are deemed so desirable that there aren't enough of them to make it into the 'most-stolen' charts. Or there again, it could be down to the latest ingenious anti-theft mechanisms.

Thus it is that the honour of being the most-stolen car goes to the by no means visually unassuming yet also not exactly obvious target for thieves: the Toyota Hiace Van.In the year 2005, the Hiace was knocking on the door of this most dubious of Top Tens, the most-stolen cars in Japan. Yet the fortunes of this goods vehicle changed within twelve months as it was catapulted into fifth place by thieves who apparently lacked taste or judgement.

But even now it has reached the Number One spot, it can't rest on its laurels. Because instead of enjoying a dignified retirement, it is increasingly finding itself pressed into service as a taxi, bus or even boat engine in some Third World country or other.
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