Ford may be the country's favourite car brand – but they are also the motors that are most commonly stolen, a police commissioner has warned owners.
The number of Fords taken in the West Midlands so far this year – 1,557 – has more than trebled from the 489 in 2015 following the spate of keyless car crime that's become an industry epidemic.
David Jamieson, the region's Police and Crime Commissioner, said a total of 5,527 vehicles in total had been stolen in the area in 2019 so far - twice the amount of motor thefts recorded just four years earlier - blasted car makers for being 'far too slow' to introduce systems to prevent remote vehicle thefts.
Ford may be the country's favourite car brand – but they are also stolen the most, a police commissioner warns (pictured, stock of a keyless entry Fiesta). The number taken in the West Midlands so far this year – 1,557 – has more than trebled from the 489 in 2015
Mr Jamieson released a list of the brands that have been targeted most commonly by thieves in the West Midlands so far in 2019 in a bid to shame manufacturers for not doing more to block so-called 'relay' crime.
He hopes the stats will encourage the motor industry to increase measures to tackle keyless thefts – where a key or key card may only need to be in the vicinity of a vehicle, not in the ignition, for thieves to access the car.
Fords topped the list, with a 218 per cent increase in thefts in the four-year period.
The stats suggest that a huge number of drivers across the country should be concerned, with Ford being the nation's favourite car brand in recent history.
By the end of July, a total of 144,838 new Fords have been registered in the UK, latest market figures show.
Of these, 48,943 were Fiestas and 36,102 were Focus models - making them the two most-bought new cars of the year so far.
The addition of keyless entry and keyless ignition across Ford's range - even the small and affordable Fiesta, which has been the best-selling model in the UK for over a decade - means they are just as susceptible to remote thefts as luxurious SUVs and pricey luxury motors.
Mercedes (stock picture of a keyless entry Mercedes) has seen an even more alarming increase, with 529 stolen so far this year, as opposed to 114 in 2015
And owners of premium brands are equally as vulnerable to the keyless crimewave.
Mercedes owners have becoming increasingly under threat, with 529 stolen from owners in the West Midlands so far this year, as opposed to the 114 taken from the area in 2015.
Mr Jamieson also revealed that 432 Audis have been stolen in 2019 to date, against 199 four years ago, with criminals targeting the high-value motors to order.
Criminals carrying out relay thefts work in teams of two, using equipment to capture electromagnetic signals emitted by keyfobs, with one thief standing by the car with a transmitter, while the other stands by the house with device that picks up the signal from the electronic key, opening the vehicle's door
According to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics, car thefts in England and Wales rose by by nine per cent in 2018.
A total of 113,037 cases of stolen vehicles were reported to the police last year, the ONS confirmed as part of its full-year crime figures.
Some of Britain's newest and most popular car models with keyless entry systems are at risk of being stolen in record time - with some tested models being driven away in just ten seconds, according to a new investigation.
Criminals carrying out relay thefts work in teams of two, using equipment to capture electromagnetic signals emitted by keyfobs, with one thief standing by the car with a transmitter, while the other stands by the