‘55% hike in jeep, SUV thefts in first half of 2019’

In the first half of 2019, there was a 300% increase in the theft of heavy machinery vehicles, which constitute about 4% of the total number of car thefts during this period.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
July 2, 2019 20:40
2 minute read.
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Ford Motor Co. introduces the new 2020 Escape SUV during a celebration at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S., March 28, 2019. Picture taken March 28, 2019.. (photo credit: REBECCA COOK / REUTERS)

There has been a 55% increase in thefts of jeeps and small SUVs compared to 2018, an Ituran report summarizing car thefts in the first half of 2019 showed.

Jeep and small SUV thefts account for 28% of all car thefts in the country, said the report from Ituran, a company that provides stolen vehicle recovery and tracking services, and markets GPS wireless communications products.

In the first half of 2019, there was a 300% increase in the theft of heavy machinery vehicles, which constitute about 4% of the total number of car thefts during this period.

Ituran CEO Nir Sheratzki noted that in the first half of 2019, the company helped in the arrests of 75 car-thief cells, and those arrests saved the Israeli economy from 5,100 potential car thefts in 2019, which would have cost an estimated NIS 408 million, data showed.

Some 30% of vehicle theft incidents in the first half of 2019 were carried out with the thief being in possession of the vehicles’ keys, 32% were from a violent break-in to the car and turning on the ignition by means of hacking into the car’s computer, and 6% were from thieves decoding the OBD (onboard diagnostics) system.

Another 8% of the thefts took place when the car was in the process of being towed. In 4% of the incidents, the vehicle was forcibly taken from the owners, or the car keys were left in the car, and in 5% of the cases the method of theft couldn’t be determined.

The large sample Ituran took showed that  the preferred areas of the thieves was the Dan region, with 30% of all theft attempts, followed by the Sharon region with 27%, the South with 13%, the greater Jerusalem area with 11%, the Shfela with 10%, the North with 6%, and Judea and Samaria at 3%.

The cities with the highest theft probability are Jerusalem with 11% of all theft events, Tel Aviv 9%, Petah Tikva, Netanya and Beersheba each with 5%.

Jerusalem has been the number-one city for car thefts for many years, the report said.

Vehicle thieves have also focused on transporting the stolen vehicles to Ramallah and Tulkarm, which are located near the center of the country and which are used by the thieves as cities of refuge for all intents and purposes.

The vehicle types with the highest frequency of theft attempts in the first half of 2019 were: jeeps and small SUVs 28%, other types of private cars 24%, commercial vehicles 22%, trucks 7%, motorcycles 15%, and heavy machinery 4%.

Vehicles that are most prone to theft are from the production years 2015 through 2018, which together account for 60% of all vehicles stolen in Israel in the first half of 2019.


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