Car and Bike Thefts in 2021: Statistics and New Trends

Crime never takes a break for cars and two-wheelers! After a slight decrease in vehicle thefts during the coronavirus pandemic, it seems that thieves have regained strength in 2021. Indeed, they now have to catch up for lost time during the multiple epidemic waves! Do you want to know more about the latest figures on car and bike thefts in 2021? Discover right away the statistics and new trends that have marked us on this subject.

Car thefts in 2021: what to remember

The 5 most stolen vehicles in France

The latest statistics, collected by AutoPlus, indicate that the most coveted cars by criminals in France in 2021 are mostly… French cars! Thus, among the most stolen models, we find in descending order:

  1. Toyota Prius
  2. DS 7 Crossback
  3. Renault Mégane RS
  4. Renault Clio 4
  5. Renault Mégane 4

Interesting fact: while it ranks first for the year 2021, the Toyota Prius was not in the 2020 ranking! The reason for its skyrocketing success among car thieves? Its catalytic converter made of precious metals that can be resold at a high price on the market!

Car thefts in Europe

In Germany, more than 10,000 car thefts were reported during the year 2020. It is interesting to note that the top 5 most stolen vehicles in this country are particularly expensive models:

  1. Range Rover Velar (starting at 75,810 euros)
  2. BMW X6 (starting at 79,800 euros)
  3. Kia Stinger (starting at 63,390 euros)
  4. Land Rover Range Rover (122,600 euros)
  5. Lexus NX (starting at 48,990 euros)

In Italy, vehicles from the Fiat group are particularly targeted by thieves. These small vehicles are usually stolen to be dismantled and sold as spare parts. Here is the detailed top 5 of stolen cars in Italy in 2020:

  1. Fiat Panda (which represents 11% of the total stolen cars with 66,110 units stolen.)
  2. Fiat 500 (6,889 units)
  3. Fiat Punto (5,252 units)
  4. Lancia Ypsilon (2,930 units)
  5. Volkswagen Golf (1,491 units)

In Great Britain, the Ford Fiesta takes the top spot for the most stolen cars. It should be noted that this model is one of the best-selling vehicles in the British territory for about a dozen years. Expensive vehicles such as the Land Rover SUV or the BMW 3 Series are also found there. Here is the top 5 of the most stolen vehicles in Britain:

  1. Ford Fiesta
  2. Land Rover Range Rover
  3. Volkswagen Golf
  4. Ford Focus
  5. BMW 3 Series

The 5 most stolen cars in North America

In the United States, cars from American and Japanese manufacturers are popular. Indeed, the five most stolen vehicle models on the other side of the Atlantic are:

  1. Nissan Altima
  2. Ford Fusion
  3. Ford F-150
  4. Toyota Corolla
  5. Chevrolet Impala

Canadians, on the other hand, saw a slight increase of 1% in vehicle thefts, with approximately 80,000 cars stolen in 2021. In the province of Quebec alone, nearly 14 car thefts were recorded per day. Moreover, the top five most stolen models in Quebec are:

  1. 2018 Honda CR-V
  2. 2019 Ford F-Series
  3. 2019 Lexus NX
  4. 2019 Honda Civic
  5. 2019 Toyota Highlander

Mouse-jacking: the trendy technique for car thefts

Mouse-jacking, also known as “mouse theft,” is a practice increasingly used by car thieves. It should be noted that this technique does not affect all vehicles. Indeed, it specifically targets car models equipped with electronics whose technological vulnerabilities represent a real weakness.

To hack the door and/or ignition system, thieves generally use a wave jammer, an encoding software or even fake cards. In just a few minutes, this technique allows the thief to take possession of a vehicle without leaving any trace of break-in! In France, this modus operandi would represent nearly 75% of the recorded thefts and has been increasing in recent years.

Are Apple AirTags serving car thieves?

The Apple AirTag is a tiny tracker, about three centimeters in diameter, developed by the Apple brand. Don’t know its function? This object was designed to find your lost items. For example, if you often misplace your keys, you can attach an Apple AirTag to your keychain, then use the Apple app when you no longer know where you left them. It is therefore an extremely useful and practical accessory in everyday life. Except that the Canadian police now suspect thieves of using it for their own purposes. The height of the pot calling the kettle black!

Indeed, some criminals have had the idea of attaching AirTags to high-end vehicles they coveted. Once in place, they only had to follow them directly to the homes of their owners using the Apple brand’s application. This allowed them to discreetly and calmly carry out their thefts in residential alleys with little traffic at night and avoid acting in the middle of the street. Canadian police services are also expecting an increase in car thefts related to this specific accessory.

Upon reading this, you may be wondering what the differences are between an AirTag and a GPS tracker? Let’s take a look at five criteria:

  1. Use: AirTag protects against object loss while the tracker fights against theft.
  2. Localization: AirTag determines its position thanks to nearby Apple devices, whereas the Invoxia GPS tracker does not depend on any device to identify its location.
  3. Type of object: AirTag allows you to find small everyday objects, mostly immobile, while the tracker is capable of tracking any type of moving object, without distance limit.
  4. Technology: AirTag relies on Bluetooth and Mesh networks, while the Invoxia tracker uses Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or GPS technologies (depending on the context) to locate itself, and low-power networks to communicate its position.
  5. Operation: AirTag only works with the Apple operating system while Invoxia GPS trackers are compatible with iOS and Android.

Strong interest in spare parts

The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shortage of raw materials, which in turn has led to price increases. However, the automotive sector is always in perpetual demand for spare parts. This is a boon for fence dealers, as these expensive and unavailable parts are resold without too much difficulty to unscrupulous professionals.

Everything you need to know about bike theft in 2021

Bike theft: dizzying figures

Bicycles are a popular means of daily transportation… Unfortunately, thieves have caught on to this and the numbers reflect it. In France, more than 400,000 bicycles are stolen each year. In fact, 80,000 cyclists give up cycling each year because of this scourge.

The results are just as staggering in Europe. On the old continent, there are nearly 2.9 million bike thefts. This represents an average of 331 bikes stolen every hour of the day!

On the Chinese side, the figures are staggering. It’s not surprising when you know that the country has 470 million bicycles. Unfortunately, four million of them are stolen each year, which corresponds to seven bicycles per minute! And electric bikes are not spared since they represent 700,000 of the stolen models.

Across the Atlantic, the scourge is such that New York deliverymen have decided to organize themselves to fight back against bike theft. These two-wheeled delivery professionals meet on a dedicated WhatsApp group called “Delivery Boys United.” They can thus help each other and, when possible, find their work vehicle.

Electric bikes arouse covetousness

Electric bikes, also known as “electrically assisted bicycles” or “VAE,” are increasingly popular with the French. Do you doubt it? In 2020, 514,000 electrically assisted bicycles were sold compared to 15,000 units in 2008. In addition, the CONEBI (Confederation Of the European Bicycle Industry) estimates that sales of VAEs in Europe should increase from 3.6 million units in 2019 to 11 million in 2025!

It is true that this type of bike has many advantages. With it, you can pedal for hours without (too much) getting tired. But the electric bike is an expensive model (average price around 2,079 euros) which arouses envy and thieves! In Paris, thefts of electric bikes continue to increase: in 2015, one in ten stolen bikes was electric, while in 2020, the ratio rose to one in five!

More and more professional thief networks

The era of wire cutters and other noisy grinders is well and truly over. Nowadays, bike thieves work in a much more professional and organized way. Bikes, whether mechanical or electrically assisted, can bring in a lot of money and they have understood this well.

Nowadays, thieves are able to pick locks on bike locks in just a few seconds without making any noise. Many bike owners have found themselves helpless one morning when they realized their bike had disappeared, even though it was securely locked in their building’s courtyard. The fact is that using one or more high-quality bike locks is no longer enough to completely deter thieves.

Mandatory bike marking

Since January 2021, marking has been mandatory for new bikes. This identification allows you to identify your bike with a unique number. This obligation has also been extended since July 2021 to electric bikes and second-hand two-wheelers sold by merchants. Your bike can be marked in three different ways:

  • Engraving
  • Resin injection
  • Tamper-proof label

The benefit of marking is twofold for bike owners. Firstly, this visible mark will deter thieves from stealing your vehicle. Why? Because identification adds an additional difficulty to resale. In addition, if your bike is stolen despite all your precautions, marking significantly increases your chances of recovering your two-wheeler.

Do you doubt its effectiveness? In Germany, where marking has existed for more than ten years, the rate of recovery of a stolen bike is 40%. In France, the latter stands at only 3%. Suffice it to say that the difference is most telling!

GPS tracker: an additional solution to protect your vehicle against theft

Having a constant eye on your bike or car is complicated, if not downright impossible. And this is especially true when you park your vehicle outside, in a garage or in an underground car park. That being said, even if no one is immune to theft, it is entirely possible to reduce the risk. Installing a GPS tracker on your vehicle perfectly meets the complementary security needs sought by car, motorcycle and bicycle owners.

Indeed, this connected object has the particularity of alerting you at the slightest suspicious movement of your vehicle, directly on your smartphone via the Invoxia GPS application. It therefore complements the preventive measures already in place such as the anti-theft device or the steering wheel lock. So of course, it is possible that malicious people will succeed in stealing your car or bicycle (unfortunately, there is no such thing as zero risk). Nevertheless, it will alert you in real time as soon as it detects a suspicious movement: allowing you to react instantly despite the unfortunate event.

GPS trackers for cars, motorcycles, and scooters slip easily into the glove box or trunk of your vehicle. That’s what one of our users did in addition to his steering wheel lock and handbrake lock. Despite all these protections, he was the victim of a car theft, but was able to find his vehicle in less than 12 hours thanks to his Invoxia tracker. In fact, you may not know this, but our teams also regularly assist the police during their investigations. A real additional support to help you quickly find your vehicle.

There are also GPS trackers designed specifically for bicycles, such as the Invoxia bike tracker. These models are both compact and robust while remaining ultra-lightweight. They have the advantage of blending in with the structure of your vehicle, allowing you to monitor your bike discreetly.

And you? Have you ever been the victim of car theft or has your bike ever been stolen? What have you put in place to secure your vehicle following this incident? Share your experience with us in the comments. And if you want to learn more about our GPS trackers, go to our website now to discover all our tracker models as well as their unusual uses approved by our users.

Alexandre

Alexandre

Passionate about soccer as well as writing and creating content, Alexandre remains more comfortable with words than with the ball.

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