Revealed: the most stolen car in the UK

The BMW X5 was the most stolen and recovered car in 2012, according to car security operator Tracker. Behind the BMW X5 in joint second places was the Range Rover Vogue and Range Rover Sport models.

In fact, BMWs occupy three of the top five stolen models, according to Tracker. Why are thieves so attracted to BMWs?

Changing taste of thieves

Think quick, a bit flash and potentially very profitable - especially when broken down for parts. "Thieves continue to target prestige models with the most expensive car recovered being worth £70,000," says Stuart Chapman, Police Liaison Officer for Tracker.

According to Tracker's data, the average value of the cars recovered in 2012 was just £25,500 and a number were below £5,000, confirming you don't have to own a luxury car to be at risk from thieves looking to make a fast profit.

Back in 2011, BMWs occupied the top three spots with the 1 Series and 3 Series taking second and third places. Today, the BMW 3 Series is in equal fourth with the Audi RS4, whilst the BMW 1 Series has slipped out of the top 10 completely.

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Make it a black Audi or Merc

"Mercedes was a key target for thieves in 2012, with the SLK and ML in fifth and sixth place, followed by the CLS and E Class in joint seventh," says the company. But there's some widely varying data out there.

For example, last year LV insurer claimed black Audis were increasingly coming top of thieves' shopping lists. Also, there's a trend for thieves to break into owners' houses and steal the car keys. Easier than breaking into the vehicle, given the tighter security levels many cars have now.

Increasingly a fast, smart, sought-after vehicle is worth a lot when sold for parts rather than as a whole unit. Cars are often shipped overseas - Africa is a big market - in lead-lined containers making it harder for tracking devices to work.

Unlock that Porsche

London, unsurprisingly, is the number one spot for high-end car theft, but the West Midlands and Essex are close behind.

Meanwhile VW has taken action against the University of Birmingham after its researchers threatened to publish details on how VW Group cars - including Porsches, Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Audis - could be hacked by thieves, reverse-engineering vehicle security computer algorithms.

The most stolen cars in 2012

The most stolen cars in 2012

Tracker's Top Five

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