The theft of a motor vehicle is one of the most distressing and costly losses that an owner can suffer, not only because of the fact it can affect anybody, but because it can happen at any time and at any place.
Like most countries, the theft of a vehicle is not considered a priority by the security services, not because of a lack of desire to investigate and penalise those involved, but largely because of a lack of resources available and other priorities taking over, and the number of incidents taking place on a regular basis.
According to sources at the Ministry of the Interior, in 2017 more than 42,000 vehicles were stolen in Spain, a total which translates to 116 every day.
Statistically, some 28 percent of vehicle thefts are detected, the vehicles returned to their lawful owners and suspects dealt with, but that sadly leaves 72 percent undetected. Most of the offences are by organised groups, who then ship and sell the vehicles abroad with false registration and documentation.
Despite the majority of crimes being organised, it is not only high end vehicles which are the subject of theft. In fact, all types of vehicles and models are affected, and, despite those stolen to order, the thieves usually do not have too many objections to stealing any vehicle they have at their disposal regardless of the model or brand.
Cars and vans are not the only vehicles at risk. Motorbikes are too. As a result, more owners are opting to purchase modern anti-theft systems for their motorcycles. These anti-theft devices are often in the form of an anchor device that guarantees the motorcycle will not move from the place where it is left and, therefore, effectively prevents the theft by a third party .
That said, it is often victims of this type of theft who later turn to devices for their subsequent replacement vehicle, as they don’t want to go through a similar experience ever again, a situation which could have been avoided if the devices were installed in the first place.
Despite the concerning figures that only one out of every four stolen vehicles are recovered, it is still a necessity to report vehicle theft to the authorities. Reporting is essential for an investigation to begin and to prevent traffic infractions or even crimes committed with the vehicle from pointing to the lawful and innocent owner.
The only advice is to always ensure that your vehicle is locked with nothing on value on show. If you have one, always keep vehicles in garages or install anti-theft systems. As well as traditional alarms and anti-theft devices, there are also more modern devices such as those which monitor the vehicle’s location by GPS, and link to smartphones apps. The app can be alerted to such movements as the vehicle being taken at certain times or from certain places, and even if the vehicle travels to different areas or above a certain speed, thus also allowing monitoring of driving of family members for example.
Keep your vehicle locked and secure, and if the worst case does happen, report it as soon as possible.