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In 2021, 16% fewer passenger cars were stolen than in 2020. That is the largest decrease in 5 years. All other categories also show decreases, varying from 7% (motorcycles) to 48% (heavy commercial vehicles). Since the start of registration in 2021, 12 registered agricultural and forestry tractors have been stolen. This is apparent from the figures of the National Intelligence and Expertise Center Vehicle Crime.

recovered vehicles

In other news, the recovery percentage, which has fluctuated around 40% for years, has increased to 45%. The chance of a stolen vehicle being recovered is still greatest within the first 24 hours. This is especially true for vehicles under 4 years old. Older vehicles are found less often.

SUVs in demand

Last year 5404 passenger cars were stolen. Among passenger cars, SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai, Toyota RAV 4 and C-HR and the Peugeot 2008 and 3008 continue to be favored by car thieves. 104 Qashqai's were stolen (+160%). The VW Golf remains the most stolen model with 328 units. VW Polo and Fiat 500 follow with 295 and 196 respectively. Vehicles of 4 years old are the most stolen: 566 units (+12%). The strong one Daling of motorcycle theft in the first months of 2021 has been nearly offset by an increase in November and December.

Another revenue model for car thieves?

The decrease in vehicle theft is greatest in the three major cities. It is striking that a slight increase is only visible in Limburg. The corona pandemic has undoubtedly contributed to the decrease in the number of vehicle thefts. In addition, the curfew and the cold winter weather in February will also have played a role. Due to reduced sales opportunities, criminals may also have partly switched to other revenue models that are more lucrative and less risky. However, clear explanations for this sharp decline cannot be given unambiguously.

“Of course we are very happy with these figures. The intensive cooperation and the increase in the use of connectivity when recovering stolen vehicles also contribute to this, but the influence of the corona pandemic is of course undeniable. Figures from the insurers show that the total cost of damage caused by car theft is falling, but that it has increased by an average of 10% per vehicle in the past year. In the coming year, we will therefore make even more use of digital detection when finding vehicles. In addition, we recommend installing an additional CCV-approved alarm system on vehicles with a keyless entry system, because these remain susceptible to theft. We are not dissatisfied but must remain alert.”