The UK’s top 10 postcodes for car theft have been identified, and one of them is in the North East.
A zip code in Darlington made the top 10, with 225 thefts across the DL1 area. January 1 and December 31, 2020 ranked eighth in the UK.
The data reveals bad news for Ford Fiesta owners in Leicester – the LE2 postcode, which covers just part of the East Midlands city, tops the table with 342 thefts recorded by police last year, while the Fiesta is the most stolen car in the UK.
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The list obtained in a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA puts the SL1 postcode second in Slough, just below Royal Windsor.
The most popular model for car thugs is the Fiesta, followed by the VW Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Corsa.
But in the rich zip codes in parts of Aldershot, Hants, and Swindon, Wilts, the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery were favorite thefts.
While London remains the national hotspot for all auto crimes, including theft, Sunday People data pinpoints where vehicles were stolen.
And they were notched in huge numbers, one every seven minutes in the UK last year. That’s almost 75,000 – a 33% increase in 2019.
Other postal codes in the top 10 are in Darlington, Milton Keynes and Stockport.
Expensive brands, including Mercedes and Audis, are targeted for export by gangs who steal to order for wealthy customers.
Remote control mixing technology has made it easy to get into cars with electronic locking.
Police and automobile associations warn drivers to only park in busier areas, preferably where CCTV cameras can be seen.
Owners are also advised to park the wheels at an angle to make it difficult to push or pull vehicles.
AA’s Luke Bosdet said owners should watch for clues to an area’s theft rate.
“The place to go is local police Twitter, crime reports and local media. They act as an early warning of a possible wave of theft so owners can take preventive measures.
“If available, put the car in a garage, alert the neighbors, and watch for any suspicious activity while walking the dog.”
■ Number of vehicles recorded as stolen by the police between 1 January and 31 December 2020 and recorded in the DVLA records by the UK postcode region.
Top ten postal codes / numbers
1. LE2 (Leicester) 342
2. SL1 (Slow) 285
3. SN5 (Swindon) 268
4. GU11 (Aldershot) 263
5. B25 (Birmingham) 256
6. MK14 (Milton Keynes) 252
7. SK3 (Stock Port) 233
8. DL1 (Darlington) 225
9. SL3 (Slow) 192
10. L39 (Ormskirk) 177
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