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Thieves still covet Volvo headlights and BMW mirrors

25 Mar 2024
All news

Thieves still covet Volvo headlights and BMW mirrors

25 Mar 2024

The theft of a car causes its owner a pretty unpleasant experience, inconvenience and sometimes also serious costs if the car is not insured. However, car owners are at least ten times more likely to encounter the theft of various parts or damage to their cars during theft attempts. Users of Volvo, BMW and Volkswagen cars should be most wary of thieves, according to the data collected by the insurance joint-stock company BTA Baltic Insurance Company (BTA).

In the last three years, Volvo cars have been the most frequent victims of thieves. The most coveted parts are still the headlights: criminals break the windows on the driver’s side and open the hood to get them. The thieves are not deterred by the fact that the headlights were marked, which shows that the demand for the lamps in the “grey market” is quite high as buyers ignore the visual defects caused to the lamp when the marking is removed.

The second most stolen brand is BMW, and in the case of Bavarian vehicles, thieves are interested in side mirrors, the steering wheel and the dashboard. Moreover, the last two parts, apparently in a hurry after the alarm was triggered, are brutally torn from the interior. Less often, one or both rear lights are stolen. Criminals are most interested in parts of 4- to 10-year-old BMW cars, while Volvo is the clear leader in the category of stolen 8- to 15-year-old cars.

Far behind in terms of the number of registered cases, the third place in the disappointing list is occupied by Volkswagen. Among the models made by the German car manufacturer, the Touareg SUVs have suffered the most, and their headlights are usually stolen. On the other hand, in the age group of up to three years, parts of Škoda vehicles are particularly sought after. Thieves are interested in the side mirrors of the brand’s most expensive Kodiaq and Superb models; however, the total amount of stolen parts is at least 4-5 times lower than in the case of BMW.

“Theft of car parts is still a serious problem; and it is extremely difficult to combat. As long as some drivers are willing to buy and install stolen lights or mirrors on their cars in search of a lower price, the rest cannot feel really safe. Crimes occur both in Riga and in other cities and villages. If the thieves have noticed an interesting car model, they will wait for the opportunity to take the parts they have chosen. Considering that lockable garages or guarded car parks are available to a small part of the public, basically only a CASCO policy can protect against losses, which will cover the costs of repairs and purchase of parts,” emphasises Kārlis Liepiņš, director of the Insurance Claims Department of BTA, while dispelling the myth that owners of older cars can sleep calmly. The statistics of BTA clearly show that most thefts are directed against 8- to 10-year-old cars. The group of 11- to 15-year-old cars is slightly behind, and new cars (less than 3 years old) are only in the third place.

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