Number of car thefts drops dramatically in Hungary, except for Trabants’

English2020. nov. 16.Növekedé

Fewer and fewer cars are being stolen in the country. In Budapest, for example, the number of car thefts has fallen by 90 percent in the past ten years. 70 cars disappeared in the capital in the first half of this year. Pest County is second with 31 thefts.

Currently, a total of 2,573 cars are officially reported as missing or stolen, so these are on the publicly available vehicle watch list of the police. It’s interesting that among the missing vehicles there are 8 Trabants and 3 Wartburgs, but Ferrari, for example, there is none.

The list is quite long compared to the fact that, according to official data, fewer and fewer cars are stolen in the country every year.

In Budapest, for example, 3331 cars were stolen in 2010, but only 352 cars last year.

The numbers are better than before in the countryside, too, and recent data from the National Police Headquarters confirm that most cars are still being stolen in Budapest.

In the first half of last year, 164 car thefts were reported in the capital, while this year the same number was only 70, which is a spectacular improvement confirmed by data from the countryside, as well. Pest County comes second with 40 and 31 car thefts reported last year and this year respectively.

Car thieves in Fejér County, on the other hand, are very active: last year there were 4 car thefts reported from January to the end of June, while this year there have already been 10 so far.

Békés and Veszprém are the most law-abiding: no car thefts have been reported from these counties this year.

Besides the numbers, it is also interesting to see what cars are being preferred by thieves.

Several reports have been released about that although their findings are fairly different. The latest figures by the International Car Hunter Public Benefit Association’ were released to last year, which surprisingly revealed that in 2019 Renault Mégane was reported to be the most frequently stolen car., on the other hand, reported that in 2019 Ford was at the top of the list of stolen cars with 66 thefts, compared to 100 one year earlier. Opel was second in 2019 with 65 thefts, followed by Suzuki with 51 and Volkswagen with 47 stolen vehicles.

The data also show that there was no major change at Suzuki, as last year the number of stolen Suzukis only decreased by 4 compared to the previous year, whereas Volkswagen saw a spectacular decline with 57 fewer VWs having been stolen than one year before.

László Farkas, head of the sub-department of the car theft division of the police said earlier that the police had managed to make former car thieves realize that this business was no longer profitable, and presumably several criminals engaged in car theft had decided to stop this activity as they understood they couldn’t get away with it without being caught.

The numbers support his claim because while in Budapest only 3.3 percent of investigations were successful in 2010, last year it was already 26.8 percent.

New investigative techniques have also contributed to this improvement. For example, the police compiled a list of potential criminals who were known to be regularly engaged in car theft, and kept them under surveillance.

An interesting case happened not so long ago: in the last week of August, a Ford was stolen in the 12th district in Budapest. Not long after, the car was found taken apart at a site in Sóskút.

The police had clues about who might have been behind the case and they were right. However, the thief did not wait to be caught; he gave himself up to the police.

The increasingly advanced technology also helps the work of the police. The price range of vehicle anti-theft devices is between a few thousand and a few hundred thousand forints. The cheapest are steering wheel and gear locks; GSM / GPS based systems are more expensive but also much more secure. They constantly track the vehicle and alert the owner if there is a problem. Of course, the safest solution is to install both, which gives almost 100 percent guarantee that the car will remain where the owner left it.