Greece Sees Rise in Car Thefts: Outdated Security in Aging Fleet Blamed

mini cooper toyota yaris car

Car thefts are increasing in Greece. This is partly due to the average age of a car in Greece, meaning that the security is of old technology.

Here are the cars preferred by thieves in our country...

According to the statistics, in Greece, there are approximately 230 vehicle thefts per 100,000 inhabitants, with New Zealand taking first place with 1,171 thefts per 100,000 inhabitants. Uruguay, with 558, Italy, with 232, and the USA, with 228, complete the top five.

We asked expert criminologists why there are so many car thefts in Greece. Since today it is difficult for a stolen vehicle to be sold and re-circulated in Greece and abroad (it is easily detected today), the answer is clear: for spare parts.

The increased age of the vehicle fleet in Greece (+17 years), has created a great need for cheap spare parts, which on the one hand are not sufficient in the market due to the many damages, while on the other hand genuine parts are clearly more expensive than stolen ones.

So thieves easily find buyers who can't (or don't want to) spend a lot of money on repairing their car.

From time to time, criminal networks are created that receive stolen cars and then sell their parts, usually to independent neighbourhood garages (unauthorized small businesses), which usually do not keep warehouses (incoming, outgoing parts).

Car thieves now choose popular cars that have been sold enough in Greece but also rarer ones that are not easy to find spare parts for. In fact, in some cases, the robbers contact the owner, asking for a "ransom" to return the car.

According to the data available, the car most preferred by thieves in Greece in recent years remains the Smart, mainly manufactured from 1998 to 2014. It has many common spare parts.

Of course, they don't prefer the new one, which is electric and therefore has few mechanical parts. Note that a Smart can be stolen particularly easily and without breaking - just simply lift the car on a small platform...

Thieves prefer the Mini Cooper, especially the first generation (2006-2008), as their second choice for the same reasons as the Smart. It follows the previous generation Toyota Yaris as a best seller (high demand for parts).

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