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Thieves are interested in new Korean crossovers and middle-aged cars of prestigious European makes

6 Mar 2024
All news

Thieves are interested in new Korean crossovers and middle-aged cars of prestigious European makes

6 Mar 2024

For several decades, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz owners had to ponder additional protection against car thieves. Now, a new trend is emerging. The insurance joint-stock company BTA Baltic Insurance Company (BTA) observes that thieves are fond of crossovers of the South Korean makes Hyundai and Kia, and they focus on cars that are not older than three years.

During the last three years, the most insurance claims from CASCO policy customers that BTA received were for the theft of cars of the Hyundai make. The thieves favour passenger cars and SUVs, namely, the so-called crossovers – Santa Fe, Tucson and Kona –, and they are especially interested in the youngest cars possible. Almost all stolen Hyundais are no more than three years old. Criminals hunted South Korean cars particularly actively in 2022. They drove away the vehicles from yards and car parks on the side of the streets at night, despite security systems and information on starting the car displayed in mobile apps. Last year, the demand for such cars decreased in the criminal world. Nevertheless, the owners of vehicles manufactured in the Far East still have reason to worry.

In the group of 4- to 10-year-old cars, Mercedes-Benz cars, even Sprinter minibuses, are most often stolen from BTA customers.

“The owners of BMW, Volvo and VW cars should not lose their vigilance either. Although vehicles of these makes are stolen less often than in previous decades, they are still vandalised quite often. Owners of 5- to 15-year-old models have a particularly high risk of finding their car without lights, mirrors, steering wheel or any other parts in the morning,” warns Kārlis Liepiņš, director of BTA’s Insurance Claims Department.

Another significant trend that especially grew in 2022 is the theft of car keys. Such cases are detected even twice as often as the theft of the vehicles themselves. Keys are mostly stolen for new vehicles. In two thirds of all cases, cars of up to 7 years old were left without the keys. The most often represented makes are Toyota, VW, Volvo, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

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