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Car theft remains high in Belgium

Published on 16/11/2004

16 November 2004

BRUSSELS – A car was stolen every 22 minutes in Belgium last year, a statistic that nevertheless represents a fall compared to previous years.

According to the latest federal police statistics, 23,591 vehicles were stolen in Belgium in 2003, translating at roughly 65 every day, La Derniere Heure reported on Tuesday.

However, the alarming figure still represents a 22 percent drop in the number of cars stolen in previous years.

In 2002, the number of stolen vehicles topped 30,000, with the figure standing at 28,850 in 2001 and 30,395 in 2000.

Car-jackings, which represent five percent of vehicle theft, were also down in 2003.

In 2003, 1,258 such attacks were reported, compared with 1,534 in 2002 and 2,052 in 2001.

The police are claiming credit for the fall in car crime, having made this issue a priority since 2002.

The recovery rate of stolen vehicles is also good compared to other European nations.

Of the Belgian cars stolen in 2003, 54 percent were found again, according to Europol figures.

In 94 percent of cases, the vehicles were still in Belgium and in 80 percent of cases they were found within a month.

By contrast, only eight percent of stolen French cars are recovered.

Belgian thieves have also shown a penchant for certain makes when targeting the cars they want to steal.

Fords top the bill, accounting for just over 12 percent of the total of stolen cars.

This is followed by Volkswagen Golfs at 12 percent, Mercedes at nine percent, Opel at eight percent and BMW at five percent.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news